In early January, Natuzzi entered a preliminary agreement with Kuka; owned by Jason Furniture, one of the largest upholstery furniture manufacturers and retailers in China. Subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in the preliminary agreement and to obtaining any applicable authorisations, it is expected that Natuzzi will contribute the exclusive distribution right to perpetually use the Natuzzi Italia and Natuzzi Editions trademarks into a Chinese corporate entity, and that Kuka will invest €65 million to sustain the expansion of the Natuzzi retail network in Greater China.
Natuzzi and Kuka are to own 49% and 51%, respectively, of the Chinese corporate entity. The preliminary agreement also envisages that Natuzzi will contribute its existing stores and commercial organisation in China.
The parties say they expect to promptly start the activities to prepare the documentation to implement the partnership and, if the parties fail to reach a final agreement by March 31, 2018, the preliminary agreement shall be void.
Jason Furniture has three major manufacturing bases in China, and over 3,000 mono-brand stores in China and overseas. The company has been officially listed on the Shanghai stock since October 2016.