The Biolchim-Cifo group, with headquarters in Bologna, has recently signed an agreement for the acquisition of the 60% of Ilsa Spa, a solid company of Arzignano (Vi), which since 1956 has been manufacturing and selling organic and organic-mineral fertilizers, biostimulants, and specific action products.
With three production plants – two in Italy (Arzignano and Molfetta) and one in Brazil (Porto Alegre) – and a selected distribution network in Italy and abroad, Ilsa Spa ended 2016 with a turnover of approximately 22 million Euro and EBITDA of approximately 3 million Euro.
This decision has resulted in the creation of one of the most important groups worldwide in the sector of special fertilizers and biostimulants, with 8 production plants, 8 commercial branches, a presence in 80 countries and a staff of approximately 300. The various plants of the group are now capable of producing all the main raw materials required for the production of biostimulants (protein hydrolysates, vegetable extracts, humic and fulvic acid, seaweed products, etc.), as well as a wide range of finished high quality and high technological content products.
In 2016 the Biolchim-Cifo group achieved a turnover of 85 million Euro and EBIDTA of 16.5 million Euro. With the inclusion of Ilsa Spa, in 2017 the group will reach a turnover of approximately 115 million Euro.
The two entities have devised a detailed action plan for the development of synergies mainly connected with cross-selling (markets and products), technological and industrial strengthening, both in Italy and Brazil, organisation – particularly as far as the Research & Development and Regulatory areas, which are becoming more and more important in the special fertilizer sector -, but also as far as logistics, also thanks to the Molfetta plant.
“We continue with our aim of further strengthening the market position of the group” stated the CEO of the Biolchim-Cifo group Leonardo Valenti, “through industrial and technological development, and the vertical integration that will be brought to completion by this latest development. We have seen a strong similitude with Ilsa, and an affinity in the R&D strategies pursued by both companies during the last ten years. Therefore, we are certain that this merger will bring an acceleration of the time-to-market processes for new products and technologies.”
“We strongly believe in this project: the fact that the two companies complement each other so well,” stated Paolo Girelli, Chairman of Ilsa Spa, “will enable us to accelerate the already ongoing industrial capacity expansion, and extend and complete the product range, as well as quickly increase our presence in foreign markets.”
Both Managing Directors emphasized the importance of their mutual esteem for each other, which proved decisive in reaching an agreement in a very short time, and of the human and professional quality of the two management teams for the success of the initiative.
With this latest acquisition, the Biolchim-Cifo group continues in its growth path, which started in 2008 with the arrival to Biolchim of the management team driven by CEO Leonardo Valenti and the Wisequity private equity fund, and then continued in 2014 with the full acquisition of Cifo, leading company of the Professional Agriculture and Home&Garden sector, in 2015 with the acquisition of West Coast Marine Bio Processing, Canadian manufacturer of seaweed extract, and in 2016 with the acquisition of the 70% of Matécsa Kft, producer of substrate and compost under the Florimo trademark, which manages a peat farm in Hungary.
The operation was completed with the support of Sudio Spada, Simmons&Simmons, Lab Analysis and Argentine Lawyer Ottaviano of LTA Alliance as consultants of Biolchim-Cifo, and Arkios and Gitti&Partners for Ilsa Spa. Also for this acquisition, in addition to own means, Biolchim took advantage of the support of Unicredit.