Following the announcement that 3F Filippi had acquired Targetti, arc caught up with Giovanni Bonazzi, CEO of 3F Filippi to talk about the acquisition, and what it will mean for the two brands going forward.
What is the history of 3F Filippi?
3F Filippi (Fluorescent Fixtures Filippi) was founded in 1952, by my father, Romano Bonazzi, and his partner Martino Filippi, who died a few years later due to a traffic accident. The company aimed to design, produce and sell lighting fixtures equipped with fluorescent technology. The decision to enter this sector was based on the growing demand for high efficiency systems, able to illuminate the ever-increasing number of industrial plants that opened their doors every day in post-war Italy. My father understood the great potential of the lighting market development in our country and abroad, and continued to run the company along with my mother Mirella until five years ago, when he left 3F Filippi to me and my sister Cristina.
What is your role at 3F Filippi and how did you get there?
I hold the position of Chief Executive Officer, but I have been working in the family business for many years. After completing my studies, in fact, I joined 3F Filippi, dedicating myself to commercial activity and marketing. Over the years, I gradually joined my father in the choice of strategies to be undertaken.
Why did 3F Filippi acquire Targetti?
In our 66-year history, we have achieved high-level performance in our reference markets, such as industry, commerce and the tertiary sector, and have a consolidated experience in the design and production of efficient technical lighting systems. Our will to constantly test ourselves led us to take over a historic brand such as Targetti, aiming to expand our product range and develop industrial synergies with a move into the field of architectural lighting for indoor and outdoor environments.
Furthermore, the wide range of products allows us to proudly bring ‘Made in Italy’ to more than 50 countries, and grow further in markets with great prospects, such as the USA, United Kingdom and China, thanks to the dense sales network and to foreign branches.
Was it a straightforward process or was there a lot of negotiation?
It was not a long negotiation (just consider that the IDEA Fund had acquired Targetti less than a year ago). Once we established that there was no lack of opportunities to grow together on international markets, we did not find it difficult to close the deal.
What are your plans going forward with the Targetti brand?
Our aim is to bring the Targetti brand back to the growth levels of a few years ago. It is a difficult challenge, the one we are facing, but we are convinced that, thanks to adequate synergies with 3F Filippi, the Florentine company has what it takes to regain the prestige it deserves.
How will the 3F Filippi and Targetti brands sit together?
Even if this acquisition has created one of the most important Italian lighting groups, it is important to remember that we never thought about merging the two companies. They will continue to move autonomously, in order to keep valuing the approximately 600 employees who every day contribute to the growth in their concerned sectors. We are extremely satisfied with how the company has been managed up to now, and we have found an excellent management team and a close-knit and motivated team of collaborators.
That said, we will do everything to ensure that the pluses of one can become, from now on, a competitive advantage for the other. For example, I am convinced that the considerable commercial know-how gained over the years by Targetti in markets such as China, USA, United Kingdom, Russia and the United Arab Emirates will also be useful to 3F Filippi to develop its business in these countries, where it has had little presence until today.
Will there be any more acquisitions in the future?
Even if we never say never, I believe that in the next few years we will be purely concentrated in the growth of current brands, including that of Duralamp (a subsidiary of Targetti).
What will you be showing at Light+Building?
Of course Light + Building will see the participation of both brands, each with its own stand. In the case of 3F Filippi, some new versions of our appliances for industry and retail, much better performance than the previous ones, will be shown to the visitors. Moreover, the company will present a world premiere of some new lighting fixtures dedicated to work spaces, and in particular to the office. These are products that we are planning and developing together with some important Italian architectural firms.
How do you see the architectural lighting industry developing in the future?
I believe that a future full of challenges awaits us. The progressive affirmation of LED in every sector, for example, will “push” companies to complete the adaptation of their devices by equipping them with this type of light source. But the challenge will also be commercial. The most successful companies in the coming years will be the ones able to offer the best on the market, with a wider range of offers. Leaving aside, at least in part, the world of design-oriented lighting, I think that the greatest successes will be achieved by those companies, or groups, which will provide any type of lighting solution, setting themselves not as a simple products supplier, but as a a real partner that offers high added value solutions for the customer.