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First wood, now glass and marble. Biesse is increasingly international

At the end of a series of negotiations that lasted several months, Biesse, a company listed on the Italian stock exchange and run by the Selci family, took control of 100 per cent of the shares of GMM in Gravellona Toce, Piedmont. The turnover of GMM, which is around EUR 125 million annually, will be included in Biesse’s consolidated financial statements at the end of the year.

He negotiations that drew to a close in recent days were not straightforward, not least because the managers of the Pesaro-based mechanical company were met with competition from other companies in the sector during the talks, resulting in a bidding war. In order to make GMM part of the group, Biesse - a company that produces machinery for processing wood, glass, marble and other materials - had to stump up EUR 72 million. 75 per cent of the Piedmontese company was acquired from the Consilium fund, and the remaining 25 per cent from the founders of the Gravellona Toce-based company, through the financial holding FLG Holding. Roberto Selci (pictured above) is the managing director of the Pesaro-based company, the son of Giancarlo, founder of this pocket-sized multinational, who has been made a Cavaliere del Lavoro.

Biesse ended 2022 with a turnover of EUR 822 million, and for 2023, is due to hit just under the EUR 800 million mark, as a result of shrinking markets and changes on the international scene. The company's Social Responsibility Report states that “Biesse is dedicated to promoting the development of people, fostering curiosity, encouraging innovation and valuing the unique characteristics of individuals, respecting their rights through shared corporate values”. 96 per cent of Biesse employees are on permanent contracts, more than 1,500 people have been working at Biesse for more than 10 years, and last year, more than 10,000 hours of training were delivered to employees. Furthermore, the company also supports social, cultural, artistic and sporting initiatives in the local area.

Biesse is not only present in Italy: it also has a factory in Bangalore, in India, while the Chinese facility has been sold. “Because there was no competition: our competitor was state-owned, so at the end of the year, the holes in the budget were cleared by the state, by Beijing,” founder Giancarlo Selci explained at the time, when the decision was made to lower the shutters on the Chinese venture. However, in closing this operation, Roberto Selci had the support of the co-CEO Massimo Potenza, and with regard to the financial profile of the CFO Pierre La Tour, who will leave the Pesaro-based group in April to join one of fashion’s biggest brands, Ferragamo.

Roberto Selci, you have acquired control of GMM: What's the strategy behind this move?

“The acquisition of GMM is in line with Biesse's strategic plan: as part of this, we have declared our desire to grow the business both organically and inorganically, with a view to expanding our product portfolio and increasing our market share.”

There is talk of several overlapping areas between Biesse and GMM at global level: will there be a move towards any mergers?

When will the GMM turnover, which is around 125 million, show up in Biesse’s consolidated statements?

Are you focusing more on marble or glass technologies with this acquisition?

Is part of the issue that the market cyclicality on wood processing machines needs to be overcome?

Was the acquisition easy or difficult? Was there any competition?

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