April 20th, 2021

With the agreement for the acquisition of the MOREL branch, ICF aims to strengthen its presence in the luxury footwear and leather goods market by creating commercial synergies thanks to the complementarity of the products and the customer base.
Through the transaction, ICF aims to expand its offer by integrating the Morel brand, dedicated to semi-finished products for luxury footwear and leather goods, into the Forestali, Durabond and ABC brands. The agreement shall allow Morel, currently owned by the Bonfanti family, to accelerate its development process towards new markets and customer segments.
Guido Cami, President & CEO of Industrie Chimiche Forestali S.p.A., explains the strategy underlying this acquisition.

Guido Cami

You started 2021 with an important transaction despite the complicated times…
“We ended 2020 with satisfaction and, despite the drop in turnover to 61 million euro due to the impact of the pandemic, we managed to consolidate an Ebitda close to 12%, a reported net profit of over 2.2 million euro (3.3 adjusted) and a good net cash flow generation.
We “bought back” over 1.4 million euro, acquired the property nearby to develop the logistics of a new product line and made investments in machinery, systems and safety for almost 1.5 million euro.
The business combination of last August, the adoption of the IAS/IFRS accounting principles and the Sustainability Report, as well as the proposal for a dividend in May of 14 cents per share to be approved at the Shareholders’ Meeting on 30 April, are all initiatives that demonstrate that we are still alive!
The team is always very strong and healthy, with the guard up to fight this pandemic.
Thanks to our vitality, we were also able to sign the agreement for the acquisition of the Morel branch, a historic Italian company founded in 1926 and manufacturer of technical fabrics for high-end footwear and leather goods. Brand, know-how, machines, systems, equipment and craftsmanship are part of the agreement”.

What are the numbers of Morel and of this transaction?
“In 2019 the company branch registered a turnover of 7 million euro, reduced to approximately 5 million euro in 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic, over 50% of which realised abroad, with a percentage margin close to the double figure obtainable already in the short term by making the structure more efficient and obtaining important operational synergies.
The price of the transaction, to be paid in 3 tranches by March 2022, will be equal to 2.759.000 euro. Luca Bonfanti, current majority shareholder of Morel, will be involved in the integration and further development process of the company”.

What made you decide to finalise this acquisition?
“ICF and Morel are two Italian companies with 100 years of history behind them that unite to find synergies at all levels and to become, together, even stronger on the global footwear and leather goods market.
Formulas, recipes, know-how, craftsmanship, organisation, innovative spirit, ethics, respect, made in Italy: these are some of the values we have always shared and which we will carry forward together”.

How did this new year 2021 start?
“It started great with amazing volumes, but bad as for the vertical price rise of raw materials and the related, very scarce availability.
What can I say: sailing with the cool breeze, under the sun, with no waves or countercurrents is practically impossible these days. But good sailors are always in the storm! Thus, we move forward at full speed carefully analysing the market and all the players involved”.

Morel, founded in 1926, designs and produces “100% made in Italy” toepuffs and counters for companies all over the world, made using cutting-edge machinery and 4.0 technology in the factory located in the centre of Milan, boasting among its customers the best shoe factories worldwide.
Morel products stand out for their high technical features and the choice of quality raw materials, fabrics impregnated with special latexes subsequently dried with wavetech technology to enhance their properties. The company is particularly attentive to sustainability themes: the production system produces zero waste by optimising energy and water resources (100% of the energy used in the plant comes from renewable sources), with a strict emission control strategy.