STI Corporate is laying the foundations for the growth of the STI GROUP
More details in this interview with Stefano Massarino (President of the Board of Directors of STI Corporate)
Mr. Massarino, at this stage, can you disclose something about this brand-new project? How did it start?
In Spring 2021, after over a year of pandemic restrictions, I met the entire business community to explain the medium-term projects that I had imagined for the Company. I remember that it was a lot of hard work - if I am not mistaken we are talking about almost 20 meetings - but also that it was worth it: I spoke about STI 2028 and declared a project for the evolution and growth of the Company. An ambitious project that aims at completing the metamorphosis of the professional studio from which it all began more than 30 years ago and transforming itself into an organic, solid, and innovative company capable of competing with satisfaction in the most important projects around the world.
All this, without ever forgetting the values and origins from where we started.
The project is based on three fundamental steps:
Transform a group of companies, scattered around the world, into a single company and community.
Expand the business model by developing new markets, by creating new services and opening new offices;
Evolve the business model towards the digital world.
Growth Project Timeline
The project started with a Warm-Up Phase, which included the corporate reorganization necessary to create the parent company and the entry of an investment fund into the share capital. This phase started in September 2021 and, after several extraordinary corporate transactions, led to the birth of STI Corporate S.p.A. Benefit Company.
At the same time, a search for a financial partner interested in sharing and supporting the project was launched. The selected financial partner then started an auditing process which, due to the complexity of the Company - owner of eight companies, six of which are under foreign law - took much longer than expected (originally April 2022).
Today, I am pleased to announce that the Warm-Up Phase has been completed and that on October 27th our Financial Partner deliberated its entry into the Company's capital, with a 30% stake, and the injection of one million Euros of financing for the foreseen investments. I cannot disclose the Partner's name yet, but I can anticipate that it is an Institutional Partner. The finalization procedures have been started and we expect to complete the transaction by 31 December 2022.
Why does the Company have such an ambitious growth plan?
Because I firmly believe that in a complex and constantly changing market like the one we are living in, there is no more room for improvisation or individualism. Excellence and personal talents create value only if shared and added to a team.
I believe that for a company to generate value - value for the community, the environment, and society – it must always be able to stand out for the services it offers and must do so by continuously innovating and improving. A company that aspires to reach the next stage of evolution must be able to invest in research, training and attract new talents.
To do this, we need more talent, diversity, markets, and economic and financial resources. Among the many things I've learned over the course of my entrepreneurial life, there’s one mantra: companies can never exercise the option of being satisfied with staying where they are. Either they grow or die - and the second option is not interesting to me.
Beyond Engineering Services
Why did the Company look for a financial partner?
Today the Company is much more aware than in the past that finance is not a collateral aspect of its business, but the key element around which everything revolves. The STI 2028 Project envisages a series of important investments in various areas, both organizational and operational-technological (1.5 million only in the first three years). Such investments must be adequately financed, which is an investment fund's job. In a more forward-looking view, there is also another important reason behind this choice: the presence of a Partner, moreover within the corporate structure, who does not come from the engineering world, who does not “speak our language” and who does not understand our reasons, will force us to develop new and different capacities and sensitivities. We can only benefit from diversity.
Investment funds are known for going into companies, squeezing them out, and finally reselling them. Is this the fate of STI?
We have chosen an Institutional Fund, which has the minority share of the assets, and we have set clauses for the repurchase (and not the sale) of the shares, in full protection of the business continuity.
Neither I nor my international partners want to give the fruit of a lifetime's work to anyone. The goal I have always declared is to create something that remains over time and leaves tangible evidence of our passage.
On the contrary, when funds acquire companies, they do not care about deleting their stories, and this is simply not part of our project.
Finally, I take this occasion to congratulate the Management, Administration, and Management Control functions for making it possible for the Company to achieve this important goal. Thank you.
The 2028 Project does not stop here. Indeed, the best is yet to come.
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