Gruppo Florence diversifies into denim with Ideal Blue Manifatture

Gruppo Florence diversifies into denim with Ideal Blue Manifatture

Translated by

Nicola Mira

After diversifying into footwear, Gruppo Florence has expanded its capabilities by investing in the denim sector. The luxury manufacturing consortium, set up in 2020 by investment funds VAM Investments, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and Italmobiliare, has announced the acquisition of Ideal Blue Manifatture, a cutting-edge textile producer based in central Italy. IBM is specialised in denim manufacturing, and is renowned for its eco-sustainable production methods.

Ideal Blue Manifatture has been producing high-end jeans for nearly 50 years – Ideal Blue Manifatture

IBM was founded in 1976 by Piero Moretti and his wife Teresa Stocchi in Urbania, in the Marche region. It is now run by their children Sara, Marco and Silvia, who is set to become the new CEO. From the outset, IBM has specialised in manufacturing high-end denim products, and is one of the rare manufacturers to have completely transformed its industrial denim-washing process by introducing laser technology, in order to limit water consumption. In addition, “[IBM’s] supply chain is certified as complying with the Global Organic Textile Standard
IBM is working for the world’s top luxury labels, and is able to manage the entire production process in-house, from prototyping to model-making, garment production, washing, embroidery, natural-dye-based digital printing, ironing and finishing. The company has 140 employees and is forecasting a 2022 revenue of €30 million, up 15% over 2021. Between 2017 and 2021, IBM recorded annual growth rates of 10% on average.

The value of the transaction was not disclosed but, as for previous acquisitions made by Gruppo Florence, IBM will become part of the consortium with all its assets and staff. The investment funds that set up Gruppo Florence hold a 65% stake in the group, while the remaining 35% is held by the owners of the companies thus far acquired, which now include the Moretti family.

IBM specialises in digital denim printing – Ideal Blue Manifatture

Gruppo Florence’s business model allows for greater synergy among the family-owned SMEs that are part of the group, each with its specific know-how, as Silvia Moretti illustrated: “Since we joined Gruppo Florence, we have had the opportunity of talking to other companies within the group about various aspects of the production process, enabling us to put forward solutions with a speed that we might not have been able to achieve otherwise, while guaranteeing greater security to our clients in terms of the traceability of every product’s detail.”

IBM’s acquisition means that Gruppo Florence, led by CEO Attila Kiss, now comprises 21 Italian high-end textile manufacturing specialists. The consortium generates a consolidated revenue of €500 million. With its companies, it employs over 2,000 people in 12 regions of Italy, and its client portfolio includes more than 50 international luxury labels.

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