TechVision, an Italian holding company owning companies producing metal components and providing surface finishing services for eyewear, aims to roughly triple its size in the next three to four years, as the eyewear sector recovers from the hit it has taken from the Covid-19 pandemic and management keeps an eye out for future acquisition opportunities.
TechVision is 40 percent owned by Milan-based Ethica Global Investments, a risk capital investment holding company, and is fresh from the acquisition in October 2020 of a 75 percent stake in DM Tecnik, which produces metal components for high-end and luxury eyewear. Founded in 1995 in the town of Mel in the province of Belluno in Italy’s Veneto region, DM Teknik posted revenues of about €3 million in 2019 and employs approximately 30 people.
DM Teknik was the third company to come under the roof of TechVision alongside Ideal, also a manufacturer of metal components for eyewear, which was purchased in 2017, and Biemme, a provider of electroplating, varnishing and other surface finishing services for eyewear acquired in 2019.
Ideal is based in Quero, also in the Belluno province, and has a team of about 100. Biemme is located in Valdobbiane, in the adjacent province of Treviso in the Veneto region, and has about 60 employees.
Together the three companies posted revenues of approximately €13 million in 2019, a figure that is seen falling “a little bit” this year as eyewear producers have seen their own toplines decline during the health emergency, before rising to over €15 million in 2021.
“In three or four years we have the aspiration to be a group with revenues of €40 million or more,” says Ruggero Jenna, chairman of TechVision and CEO of Ethica Global Investments. Aside from an anticipated recovery in the market, Jenna envisages a gradual reshoring of some components now sourced in China after Covid-19 made clear the fragility of the geographically dispersed, “super fragmented” supply chain. “We expect that some of the things that are done in China, will be done here,” he says.
TechVision also expects to have a competitive edge from the one-shop concept behind its growth to date. While DM Tecnik is focused on more personalized, high-end and fashion-oriented components, Ideal’s components tend to be more standardized and used on eyewear with higher volumes of production.
Putting the two components suppliers together in the same group “allows us to cover the entire market,” notes Eros Molinari, chief operating officer of Ideal. And given TechVision’s ownership of Biemme, “already today we are able to offer some clients a finished project, not only the component but one that is also electroplated and is ready to be mounted,” he says.
Aside from sharing a sales force and obtaining synergies in terms of logistics, information technology and administration, the group sees value-added from creating a critical mass of technical and design expertise. “The idea is also to be in a position to bring new ideas to our clients,” says Jenna. A good example of this, he says, is Biemme’s recent launch of a nickel-free electroplating product known as “Cube Reaction.”
After DM Tecnik, additional acquisitions could also be on the agenda. “The platform lends itself to growing further and we are reflecting on the products and technologies we could best integrate in the group,” says Jenna. “We need to be flexible and prepared if there are situations that make strategic sense, but our priority at the moment is ensuring the companies that are part of the group work well together. We still have a lot to say in our current form.”
According to its website, TechVision’s clients include Thélios, Marcolin, Luxottica and DeRigo.