No step back from the Evoca group on the decision to close the Gaggio Montano site of Saga Coffee, in the Bolognese Apennines, purchased only four years ago, and thus to archive its wealth of know-how in coffee technologies and people ( 220 employees, 80% women). But from yesterday’s regional table an offer of reindustrialisation by a mechanics entrepreneur emerged which opens a possible opening.
In the meantime, the permanent garrison in front of the former Saeco coffee machine production plant continues, a group founded in 1981 by Sergio Zappella with a Swiss partner and the Bolognese king of capsules Giovanni Zaccanti (also responsible for the success of Caffitaly and today patron of Parmacotto), arrived on the stock exchange in 2000 with the Saeco and Gaggia brands, 1,500 employees and the European market leadership in automatic espresso coffee machines (over one million machines produced each year and 250 million euros in turnover).
In 2004 private equity enters
In 2004, with a capitalization of over 700 million euros and the change of hands to the French private equity fund Pai Partners which lists it, the decline of Saeco begins, which not even the industrial cure started in 2009 by the Dutch Philips group is able to heal. , until the 2017 stew, when Philips sells the division of Saeco professional machines to the Bergamo-based multinational Evoca, formerly known as N&W Global Vending, leader in the production of snack and beverage vending machines controlled by the Lone Star fund, which secures the license of Saeco and Gaggia brands, from whose initials the new Saga Coffee brand is born.
The cry of alarm
“It is no longer acceptable that a multinational, after using the knowledge and skills of highly professional workers, suddenly leaves the territory, especially in fragile areas such as mountain areas”, is the cry of alarm launched to the Government by the local institutions of in the face of the announcement made three weeks ago by Evoca that in March 2022 it will close the site in the Apennines.
“To move to Romania is to relocate”
The group, headquartered in the Bergamasco, 9 production sites in the world and 600 patents, is back from a disastrous 2020 budget, thanks to Covid, with revenues down by a third (from over 460 million in 2019 to 304 million) and triple losses. from 29 million holes in 2019 to the red of 78 million in 2020. Values that add up to heavy minus signs in the income statement in all the last ten years, never closed with positive margins. “Evoca is not a multinational, it is a family from Bergamo and moving production to Romania does not mean industrial reorganization, it is called delocalization, a mere financial operation that feeds the workers of Gaggio to the banks, where, among other things, the group loses only 5 million euros, out of over 70 in total “, declares the regional councilor for productive activities Vincenzo Colla, recalling that Gaggio Montano is a town of 5 thousand souls and 220 jobs make the difference and that there are groups that have bought businesses and are also successful at an altitude of 700 meters and 45 minutes from the nearest motorway exit.