Allegrini 2018

The Illy Group project: a high-end “Taste Center” of chocolate, tea, pastries and wine

WineNews interviewed Riccardo Illy: “We are in the wine field in Montalcino with Mastrojanni today, but we do not exclude purchases in Barolo ... ”
Riccardo Illy alla guida del Gruppo Illy tra le botti della cantina Mastrojanni, tra i riferimenti qualitativi del Brunello di Montalcino

Illy is one of the first 100 brands that most influence the lives of Italians, according to the Ipsos "The Most Influential Brands 2018", and it is a world reference for quality Italian coffee and "Made in Italy" food. Illycaffè, the company Francesco Illy founded in 1933 in Trieste and today led by the third generation of the family under the chairmanship of Andrea Illy, yielded a turnover last year of 467 million euros and is present in over 140 countries worldwide. The Illy family controls (or has significant holdings) through the Illy Group Holding Company, which last year achieved consolidated revenues for 516 million euros, also other brands such as Domori, one of the leaders of high quality chocolate, Agrimontana, leader of high end pastries, Dammann Frères, historic French tea house, FGel (bars / ice-cream shops) and Mastrojannj, a winery which, in just a few years, has become a reference point of Brunello di Montalcino. All the activities not related to coffee that come under the umbrella of the Illy Group, chaired by Riccardo Illy, will become a real “Taste Center” as Riccardo Illy explained to WineNews. “In the short term, we will form a sub-holding company 100% controlled by the Illy Group, which, in turn, will control Dammann Frères, Agrimontana, Mastrojanni and Domori by June 2019. The idea is to bring a financial partner into the sub-holding, to accelerate the growth of these companies, which have grown in recent years. And subsequently, quote them on the stock exchange. We just need to take control, or 51% of the shares, and with what we get from the stock exchange, we will liquidate the financial partner. It is a process that I believe will take about 10 years, let’s say from 2020 to 2030, and at that point our family will control, through Illy Group, Illycaffè, and through the sub-holding, the sister companies now listed on the stock exchange. We can then think of re-incorporating the sub-holding into the Illy Group”. Further, Illy is in the wine field with Mastrojanni, which has become a reference point of Brunello di Montalcino, but “we do not exclude investing in the territory, or acquisitions in Barolo. Two wines that, for me, to date, are the only “universal” Italian wines known around the world that have a celebrated history and, therefore, a great future”.

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