Milan, July 16th, 2019 – Alkemy S.p.A. – leading company in the innovation of the business model of large and medium-sized companies and listed on the AIM Italia market of Borsa Italiana since December 5th 2017 (ticker: ALK) – announces its entry into the share capital of Design Group Italia (DGI), an internationally accredited innovation & design consultancy company counting on 50 years of experience and offices in Milan, Reykjavik, New York and Palo Alto.
The transaction provides for an initial 20% stake as of today and the acquisition, over a period of 4 years, of 100% of the share capital of DGI, as follows: an additional 31% in 2021 and the remaining 49% in 2023.
DGI was founded in 1968 by Marco del Corno as a branding design studio focussing on the mass market and on the design of everyday objects. The history of DGI intersects with that of Italian design: Tratto Pen – for example – has not just won the Compasso D’oro Award, but it also represents an essential tool for a generation of illustrators. Among DGI’s best-known products, are the exclusive lilac cardboard box of Pandoro Bauli, Mentadent toothbrushes and Chicco brand products. Today DGI is managed by partners Edgardo Angelini (Managing Director), Sigurdur Thorsteinsson (Chief Design Officer) and Peter James (Newbould Chief Innovation Officer) – who have progressively led it to be a modern strategic innovation & design consultancy company that makes 60% of its turnover abroad, mainly in the Northern European and US markets.
DGI – with a team of 75 professionals from 16 nationalities – works in various sectors around the world ranging from digital health to consumer products, from luxury international resorts to the Internet of Things. Customers include Fortune 500 global companies (ABB, PepsiCo, Unilever, Panasonic, 3M, etc.), large Italian companies (Enel, Generali, Barilla, Bialetti, etc.) as well as start-ups based in the Silicon Valley and large no-profit organizations such as Unicef.
Over the years, DGI has received numerous prizes and awards for its projects, including Compasso d’Oro, Adi Design Index, Red Dot Award, Good Design Awards, IF Award.
“The acquisition of DGI has a highly strategic meaning, and is part of Alkemy’s plan to activate the innovation and change processes of client companies through all the physical and digital interaction channels and through all the elements of the offer, whether they are services or physical products“, stated Duccio Vitali, Chief Executive Officer of Alkemy S.p.A.. “The experience developed by DGI in implementing strategic design solutions that combine design thinking with customer-tailored project management, together with the multidisciplinary approach that characterizes both our realities – all of this perfectly fits within Alkemy’s culture. The core of both companies is their unique ability to understand people, companies, problems and situations, leading to create innovative solutions and real change to face increasingly complex challenges.”
“DGI has a long history of creating innovation in products and services that combine beauty, effectiveness and usefulness for people,” said Sigurdur Thorsteinsson, DGI Chief Design Officer. “We have been using design thinking as a working method for over 15 years, and we have developed this method, transforming it from a project tool to a comprehensive approach: design understanding, thinking and doing with which we accompany our clients in this phase of great technological transformations, exploring the right balance between the physical and digital worlds. We aim for the person to remain at the centre of every product, service and space. Alkemy has had the strength to aggregate skills in areas that until yesterday have been distinct from one another.
Together, Alkemy and DGI can build bridges among AI, Big Data, product and space design, design ethics, and much more. These bridges, this uniqueness between technology and humanism, are essential to ensure the current and future success of the products and services we develop for our customers.”
The initial 20% of DGI’s share capital will be purchased by Alkemy on the basis of an overall valuation of the Company equal to 7x the adjusted1 Ebitda 2018. The payment of the consideration, equal to 1 million Euros, will be made in cash. The total value of the transaction (Equity Value) is estimated at about 5.2 million Euros.
“The acquisition of DGI represents the first extraordinary leveraged transaction for Alkemy, having used all the proceeds of the IPO – carried out in December 2017 – in M&A transactions. The transaction will be carried out with the support of Intesa Sanpaolo, through Mediocredito Italiano“, observed Alessandro Mattiacci, Chairman of Alkemy S.p.A. and Head of Corporate Development. “This acquisition meets Alkemy’s guidelines on inorganic growth: it is, in fact, an overall counter-dilutive operation, in several tranches, but above all it is a transformational deal, in the sense that it projects Alkemy beyond the boundaries of digital services, redefining, as it already happened in 2012, a new competitive space within which it will operate and continue its project of growth.”
The responsibility for DGI’s ordinary management will remain in the hands of DGI’s members, providing for Alkemy veto power on extraordinary subjects, starting from the first closing.
Alkemy was assisted in the transaction by Lawyer Mara Luisa Sartori of Cornelli Gabelli e Associati law firm. DGI was assisted by Lawyers Paolo Grandi and Paola Iacovino of R&P Legal Studio and by Stafano Siglienti of Vintage Capital S.r.l..
Born in 2012 thanks to a group of entrepreneurs who had gained significant experience at leading international companies in the world of business consultancy and technological innovation, Alkemy S.p.A. works to improve the market position and competitiveness of large and medium-sized companies — innovating and transforming their business model according to the evolution of technology and consumer behaviour. The Company integrates skills and expertise in the areas of strategy, e-commerce, communication, performance, technology and data analytics into its offer, and manages wide-ranging digital transformation projects that cover the entire value chain, from strategy to implementation.
1) Non-recurring and/or non-pertinent items are excluded