Which are good sunglasses factories in Italy

Italian companies: Italy is playing by new global rules

MILAN. Italy has so far only been indirectly affected by the global financial crisis. In contrast to the German competition, for example, the Italian banks and insurers, in their conservative manner, have largely held back with the high-risk subprime papers. In a global recession, Italy's economy also feels the consequences of lower demand for export goods and the weak dollar. But the former Lira country is currently also using the situation as an opportunity.

"We are currently seeing a lot of acquisitions in the United States," said Giuseppe Roma, director general of the social and economic research institute Censis. “Companies are using the weak dollar as an opportunity to make acquisitions,” he says.

According to a study by the consulting firm KMPG, the results of which were published by the Italian business newspaper "Il Sole 24 Ore", the number of American companies taken over by Italians rose from nine in 2003 to 23 last year. The value of the acquisitions has increased more than twentyfold: while the acquisitions in 2003 were worth a total of 370 million euros, the value last year was 7.7 billion euros. The Italians took advantage of the favorable exchange rate as early as 2006: According to KPMG, Italian companies bought a total of eleven US companies in 2006 with a value of almost six billion euros.

One of the largest US acquisitions last year was the deal that Luxottica, the world's largest eyewear manufacturer, struck. The northern Italian company bought the sunglasses manufacturer Oakley for 1.5 billion euros.