Today, unlike Italy, many of the most dynamic and competitive countries have developed precise communications strategies for their country’s image and have created the framework for monitoring and managing its ranking in international classifications. In addition, these classifications – in which Italy is always near the bottom – make use of methodological features (for example, many are based on qualitative surveys) that lead to even significant distortion (as in the case of Italy) in what is the actual situation.
Concurrently, as the result of a scouting process of international best practices in the management of country-image, The European House – Ambrosetti has prepared a dashboard for the five main economies in the European Union (France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain). In addition, the Italian edition includes an appendix dedicated to Italy in which a number of recommendations and operational proposals have been formulated for the Italian government, with the aim of implementing an action strategy to improve Italy’s image and attractiveness.
In September 2017, GEA Group completed the acquisition of 100% of Pavan Group, a Venetian company specialized in the production of machines for processing fresh and dried pasta, snack and cereal products. The acquisition is added to those of Cmt and Comas (in 2015) and Imaforni (in 2016). The Pavan Group has a turnover of around EUR 160m and employs 680 employees in production sites in Italy and in China. Together with the other Italian companies that are part of the Gea Group, it generates a turnover of around EURO 600m, with 1,800 employees. Thanks to this acquisition, Italy has consolidated as one of the reference countries for the German multinational. (Source: Il Sole 24 Ore)
Blue Elephant Energy AG (BEE), a Germany-based company that acquires and operates solar and wind parks and other infrastructure projects in the field of renewable energy, has acquired a 22 MW solar park portfolio in Italy (located within a 50-km radius in the Marche and Abruzzo regions) from Viridis Energia, an Italy-based company engaged in the development, acquisition, revamping and management of renewable energy plants, for an estimated consideration of EUR 55m. The acquisition expands BEE's Italian presence from 20MW to 42MW and takes its total installed capacity of solar and wind farm portfolio to over 250MW. The transaction will provide resources for Viridis' green investments pipeline strategy (>250MW), targeting the domestic renewable energies market. The acquired portfolio is anticipated to contribute over EUR 10m to the BEE's annual turnover from 2018 onwards. (Source: Press release Watson, Farley & Williams LLP, 2018 February and Database Merger Market)
Ebro Foods, the listed Spain-based company engaged in the production, marketing and selling of rice, pasta and sauces, milk, natural ingredient based products and bio technology products, has agreed to acquire 52% in Geovita Functional Ingredients, an Italy-based company engaged in the production and sale of legumes, rice, fast-cooking grains and other healthy ingredients, for a total consideration of EUR 16.5m. The acquisition also includes Geovita's subsidiary, Geovita Nutrition. The transaction is in line with Ebro’s strategy to grow into convenience and healthy food segment. The acquisition will provide Ebro market differentiation though the solutions offered by Geovita. Geovita has three production plants in the Italian towns of Bruno, San Giovanni Lupaloto and Villanova Monferrato, and a workforce of 94 employees. (Source: Ebro Foods SA press release, 2017 September and Database Merger Market)
Laboratorios Cinfa, the Spain-based pharmaceutical company engaged in manufacturing, development and sale of medicinal drugs, has acquired Sakura Italia, the Italy-based pharmaceutical company engaged in the manufacturing of medical devices and food supplements, for a consideration of EUR 20m. The quality of Sakura Italia’s products and services will enable Laboratorios Cinfa to expand its operations, thereby strengthening its future growth level in the healthcare segment. The acquisition will also increase the profitability of Laboratorios Cinfa. (Source: Press release Sakura Italia, 2017 July and Database Merger Market)
Artsana, the Italy-based producer of baby products, health, cosmetics and beauty care products has acquired 50% stake in Prenatal Retail Group, the Italy-based seller of toys and baby products, from Giochi Preziosi S.p.A., the Italy-based company engaged in the development, marketing and distribution of toys, for an estimated consideration of EUR 105m. Prenatal Retail Group was a 50:50 joint venture between Artsana and Giochi Preziosi which took place in 2015, and this acquisition will effectively end the joint venture, thereby giving 100% ownership of Prenatal to Artsana. Prenatal Retail has 4150 employees and reported revenue of EUR 1bn in 2016. The acquisition is subject to European Anti-trust's approval. The Prenatal group includes Toys Center, King Jouet, Prénatal stores, and Bimbostore, thereby having its reach in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland. (Source: Database Merger Market)
IMA, an Italy-based manufacturer of automatic packaging machines for the tea, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, has agreed to acquire 60% stake in Eurosicma S.p.A., an Italy-based manufacturer of automatic machines and systems for horizontal flowpack and fold packaging for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, from Redaelli Family for a consideration of EUR 26m. he acquisition will strengthen IMA’s business of automatic flowpack and fold packaging machines by expanding its current product range and creating significant production and commercial opportunities with other companies. It will also provide a platform to IMA to enhance and boost its industrial presence in Italy.The transaction will enable Eurosicma to expand and grow its business. (Source: Press release IMA, 2017 July ande Database Merger Market
A global player in the sector of motorway and airport infrastructure, Atlantia manages 5,000 km of toll motorways present in Italy, Brazil, Chile, India and Poland, and manages Fiumicino and Ciampino airports in Italy and the three airports of Nice, Cannes-Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez in France. It is a leading technological company and number one in the world in electronic toll collection and infomobility. In 2005, it has undertaken an important process of international development of its activities, continuing to invest in Italy. In 2013, it entered the airport sector, managing the two Rome airports of Fiumicino and Ciampino.In 2016, it consolidated its presence in the sector with the acquisition of Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA), the company that controls the airports of Nice, Cannes-Mandelieu and Saint-Tropez. In 2016, the company’s revenues reached EUR 5.5b, up 3.4% from 2015, with an EBITDA of EUR 3.38b (61.6% of revenues), profits of EUR 1.1b (20.5% of revenues) and personnel figures averaging nearly 15,000 employees. Listed on the stock exchange in July 2017, it boasts a capitalization of EUR 21.5 bln (Source: Why Italy is definitely alive and kicking, 2017)
On 19 January 2016, the company announced an investment plan for some EUR 100m over three years to favor the country’s digital transformation, promoting the development of skills and providing support to innovative start-ups. At present, 89,000 students have attended Cisco’s academies for digital, around EUR 5m have been invested in the venture capital fund Invitalia and an agreement has been reached with the Leonardo Group to promote cyber security among Italian companies facing the 4.0 transition. Cisco is a Californian multinational with 74,000 employees world-wide (approximately 50% outside the United States). Its revenues in 2016 were more than EUR 40b. In Italy, it is active through its subsidiary Cisco Systems Italy, a company which in 2015 employed nearly 370 workers and had revenues of around EUR 365 million. In Italy, approximately 80% of network data traffic uses Cisco technology. (Source: Why Italy is definitely alive and kicking, 2017)
Saint-Gobain is a French multinational of glass and building materials with activities in 67 Countries, with 180,000 employees and a global turnover of EUR 41b. In Italy, the Group has about 2,100 employees working in 23 production sites and, in 2017, has achieved a turnover of around EUR 700m. Recently Sicurglass Sud, a Group company based in Fasciano (Salerno) specialized in the study, design and construction of windshields for transport vehicles, has won a contract to develop the new windscreens of trains destined for Chinese High Speed and those for trains of the new Paris metro line. (Source: Il Sole 24 Ore)
Nuova Ciba, a historic company in Reggio Emilia, leader in the design and construction of automatic systems for the transport, storage and dosing of products for the rubber industry with a turnover of EUR 14m., was acquired by the German Group Zeppelin. The operation is part of the strategy of internationalization of Nuova Ciba and will guarantee operational continuity and the conservation of entrepreneurial activities and employment in Reggio Emilia, ensuring new business opportunities compared to those already developed and consolidated over the years. The Zeppelin Group operates in 190 countries with approximately 7,800 employees and an annual turnover of around EUR 2.3b. (Source: Corriere della Sera, 2018)