Client: Zordan Group
Industry: shopfitting
Deal type: M&A, international development

Italian group Zordan, specialized in the designing and manufacturing of custom-made mono-brand shopfitting for some of the major global fashion and luxury brands, including names like Bulgari and Farragamo, acquired Woodways International, US based designer and manufacturer of high-end case goods and furniture for the commercial, residential and educational markets. The acquisition, which is part of Zordan’s international growth strategy, will allow the Italian company to benefit from a direct manufacturing base in US to better serve its clients in the North American market.
Finlife acted as financial advisor to Zordan.

Based on the agreement, Zordan will acquire initially a 25% stake in Woodaways’capital, then gain a majority stake by the end of this year and finally take it over entirely in 2016. The acquisition, which has been finalized by mean of a dedicated vehicle wholly controlled by Zordan S.r.l., represents a very important step in the international growth strategy of the Italian group, allowing Zordan to serve directly its clients in the North American region through a direct manufacturing presence as well as to expand its customer base in that area.

Woodways International, a Grand Rapids (Michigan, USA) based corporation, is an innovative manufacturer of high-end case goods and furniture for the commercial, residential and educational markets, with an annual turnover in the range of 5 $ millions and a well-established presence and customer base in the Midwest area.

Zordan S.r.l. is a Valdagno (Vicenza, Italy) based group with a consolidated turnover of approx. 20 € millions. The Group operates mainly through two divisions, Zordan Mono-Brand Shopfitting, specialized in designing and manufacturing of custom-made furniture for luxury retail mono-brand stores and Zordan Tailor-Made Interiors, focused on high-end custom made interior furniture. The company works for some of the major global luxury brands, including Ferragamo and Bulgari (it realizes the mono-brand stores worldwide for both of them) and Tumi.

Finlife Corporate Finance acted as exclusive financial advisor to Zordan by advising the company in the phases of market screening, target research and analysis, negotiation, structuring and closing of the transaction. In this transaction, Finlife has been supported by the law firm and Gesta-network partner MDA, who provided legal assistance.

Alfredo Zordan, Vice-Chairman of Zordan S.r.l. commented: “we are extremely happy to have found the right partner to fit our growth strategy the USA. This acquisition will allow us to furtherly growth in North America, a market becoming more and more important for our company. The support of Finlife has been truly important during all the phases of the deal and contributed to create a positive relationship with the counterpart that constituted the base for a successful negotiation”.

Gerardo Dal Piva, partner Finlife Corporate Finance who led the advisory team commented: we are delighted to have assisted a brilliant company like Zordan in an important cross-border acquisition in the USA. This deal witnesses once again how the entrepreneurial culture of small-medium enterprises is positively changing, especially among young entrepreneurs: internationalization not only conceived as export but also as cross-border acquisition of stable manufacturing organizations.