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In the 1980s and 1990s the Alessi name, the company’s products and its design and business philosophy were regarded as defining for an era in which good design was heralded as a factor for success, and as a foundation for a strong brand. Just one example of this was the “Juicy Salif” lemon squeezer designed for Alessi by Philippe Starck in 1987. Two years ago the Alessi family began looking for financial partners to prepare the ground for the company’s future. At the beginning of this year a report appeared in the business press on the financial problems faced by the Italian family business, which has been in existence for more than 100 years and has become internationally known for exquisite household goods and entrepreneurial vigour under the leadership of Alberto Alessi. Oakley Capital, a British private equity firm, has now acquired shares in Alessi and plans to get the company back on track in the global market. “We are about to enter a new phase in the company’s development,” Alberto Alessi is quoted as saying.

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