Italian porcelain maker Richard Ginori declared bankrupt-sources

FLORENCE, Italy Mon Jan 7, 2013 1:06pm GMT

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FLORENCE, Italy Jan 7 (Reuters) - An Italian court has declared porcelain maker Richard Ginori 1735 bankrupt, union and company sources said on Monday, potentially thwarting a takeover by a U.S.-led consortium.

The sources told Reuters that a Florence court had submitted its decision on Monday, effectively blocking a sale procedure by special administrators appointed to prevent the company going bankrupt.

Richard Ginori, which has made fine china tableware for over 270 years, was not available for comment.

"We cannot understand why the court took this decision," said one of the sources.

Burdened by debts, Richard Ginori was first rescued in 2007 by Italian investor Roberto Villa, who restructured and brought the group back to the stock market in 2009.

But fiscal problems and the impact of the credit squeeze during the 2008 financial crisis weighed on the relaunch of one of the symbols of Italian craftsmanship, which has worked with designers such as Gio Ponti and Missoni.

In November, the company had said an offer by a consortium led by American tabletop maker Lenox Corp had been accepted and talks to define the sale would follow.

Romania's largest porcelain manufacturer, Apulum, was also due to take part in the rescue of the company.

Richard Ginori has 325 employees.

(Reporting By Silvia Ognibene; Writing by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Louise Heavens)

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