LIVORNO. Once the port of Livorno was in the hands of predominantly local realities: the "motorways of the sea" had a point of reference in the society led by Renzo Conti and in the Sintermar the "holy alliance" of the great private entrepreneurial dynasty was expressed maritime (D & # 39; Alesio, Neri and Fremura at par), just to name a couple. Even the stevedores had been defeated by Prandini's decrees, but Italo Piccini's prediction had turned them into a cooperative venture with a galaxy of stakes and a hand at almost every terminal.
That world had the "virtue" of keeping within the local precinct the creation of wealth that arose from an income of historical-geographical position: the fact of being here, being us and being the heirs of those who were here. Wanting to throw him down with the sweet lies of the amargord, he could be wrapped up in the repentance of a world in which even profits poured into the territory and into the enlarged community, including those who did not even see them from afar, but perhaps a library or in a certain cinema inside the quadrilateral designed by the architect Salghetti Drioli as a fortress in front of the Fortress: to mark where was the fortress of the city of years 70-80. The world in which the mills were white and the Baracchines were red: and it was precisely at the booths that the port and the entrepreneur met side by side, with no different circuits of friendship that established social inequalities.
IN LOCAL HANDS
We saw the other side of the coin when the new Darsena Toscana container terminal in the 1990s was in local hands: the investment capacity was reduced to a blink of an eye (not counting what it might be now …), the possibility for to resist the downward war of the margins in the commercial competition, productivity limited to what can be imagined. The result: when the Italo-German army of the Eurokai-Contship, led by Thomas Eckelmann and Cecilia Battistello, entered the Tdt at the beginning of the last decade with a fifty-five pact with Companhia do Porto (and the blessing of Italo Piccini while his son Roberto was rooting for the Spaniards of Dragados), even the photogalleries of the pitiful state of pier equipment between the rust and the problems began to circulate. For years, there was a need to modernize them, replace them, improve them, upgrade them, increase them: but there was no money for it.
We are not here to say that the debut of international capital in the port of Livorno comes in 2001: that would mean turning a blind eye to the fact that the opening to the world brought four hundred years before the Livornine. In fact, more is true of what is said by a historian of the highest echelon, like Fernand Braudel who, together with Ruggiero Romano, dedicates the opening essay ("Navires et marchandises à l'entrée du"). port de Livourne: 1547-1611 ") of an important series (" Ports, routes, traffic ") signed by a Parisian publishing house.
GLOBALIZATION IS HERE
In addition, to realize the fact that globalization has already exploded in our port centuries ago, it is sufficient to look at the origins of the families of the mercantile great bourgeoisie Livorno, who had established a network of relations in the Mediterranean from the family ties. To understand, mica was born with the logistics of the Decimo Porto-Livorno base camp in southern Europe for the allied troops in the last phase of World War II – the traditional trade link that sees our city looking at US ports for at least two centuries : The affairs of her husband took Elizabeth Ann Seton to Livorno in the early nineteenth century, who would become the first American saint proclaimed by the Catholic Church.
Livorno is therefore not globalized on the day that Eurokai-Contship looks at the port business: the internationalization of investments has already led multinational car manufacturers to conquer the hegemony of big-city factories instead of the Fiat galaxy. (for example, the Americans of Trw and Delphi have already taken the place of the ancient Spica at the end of Via Enriques, the Germans of Kolbenschmidt Rheinmetall are there where Motofides was, then Magneti-Marelli or Gilardini who says yes).
We made a long run to tell the last great transformation in the identity of the port of Livorno: here and now. Today no tomorrow. Even before starting the first cubic meter of concrete in Darsena Europe, if this is true: even if it is true that perhaps this dynamic was set in motion, it was precisely the announcement in the autumn of 2014 with which the governor Enrico Rossi places Mesa de 180 millions of euros to remove the maxi-Darsena from the book of dreams and make it an option that is not easy but at least possible.
The landing of genesis
Let me be clear, there was already a warning: at the beginning of this decade, the four private entrepreneurial families of Genoa met in a GIP landing at Darsena Toscana (the Magillo family with Thos Carr & Son, Giulio Schenone is behind Luigi Negri , leader of Finsea with Medov and Il Investimenti, Giovanni Cerruti with Gastaldi Holding). But it was born as an opportunity for the growth of the businesses seized by the Contship port confrontation that had taken the last of the Tdt: it had initiated an internal logic for a group that could finally aspire to acquire the position of national operator. while until that moment it remained confined to an entire genovesa dimension
In the middle of the last decade, the acquisition of Fratelli Elia, from Clessidra Sgr, has the idea that the port will soon be devoured by investment funds and their dynamics from any possibility of control or even just take off. understanding from a local point of view. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that, on the one hand, in a jump the company buys Ambrosetti to raise its market share and, on the other hand, dictates the law in the local field with operational methods that do not fear the tears in relation to assets , habits. , consolidated balance.
INVESTMENT FUNDS COME
We were not in Gotha of Gordon Gekko's world finance, but we are talking about a giant capable of putting on the table a firepower of more than 2 billion euros to invest: at the time the plenipotentiary in Livorno was the manager Mario Volpato, in the bridge At the helm of the fund, we find Claudio Sposito, former CEO of Fininvest, a past at Morgan Stanley, another team of managers from the two groups mentioned or with a curriculum at Accenture and Deutsche Bank or similar. Just the time to leave the operation Eliambrosetti and here in 2016 Clessidra will end up through Italmobiliare in the portfolio of one of the great families of capitalism made in Italy, the Pesenti (more than two centuries of entrepreneurial history, with the ability to move in the most groups high power, if it is true that they are in the room of Mediobanca and Carlo has been the needle of the balance in the property of Corriere della Sera).
Clessidra is no longer there, and since then, the bottoms are more rooted in the docks of our house. We should remember the landing at the Livorno docks of the investment company Mid Industry Capital, which in 2012 enters Giorgio Neri with an alliance that mixes the main operators in the logistics of the pulp sector: the matrix will change identikit as most of the actions will happen in 2015 for Phf Holding, a company based in Vicenza, headed by Roberto Ruozi and founded by Roberto Meneguzzo, but with Giorgio Drago, executive director and general manager.
Also in 2012, there is another passage of quotas designed to mark the structure of the port: it concerns the company of Andrea Palumbo, founded in the mid-seventies, which faces the generational turn and growth of the role of children Filippo and Veronica within from the company. This time it is Inchcape Shipping Services (Iss), a multinational British stock company. But even here, albeit indirectly, there is a fund involved: it is the sovereign fund of Dubai. The presence of this controlling shareholder, however, is not the only reason that leads us to put the spotlight in this direction: the Iss Palumbo has shown a strong activism in the last year in front of the operation that Spil, the former public company for reindustrialization (in the hands of the Municipality for 61%), held in the 81,000 square meters of Paduletta's "gold plates", rented at Cilp (ports plus Black-Negri at a par) almost by the end of the next decade.
The municipality of Livorno had a double motivation: to restore the accounts of its highly indebted company (due to the shock costs of the old Odeon transformed into parking) and, at the same time, to make its own games on the harbor risiko, perhaps disturbing others' . He did this by giving these golden solos a "Spil 2", of which he put 80% on sale with a series of demands that cut the Authority beforehand: in the end, only Iss Palumbo remained in the race. and the Spinelli group, the patron of amaranth football. Palumbo won. But the exit to the sea was interrupted by the removal of Tco from Calata Orlando.
IN THE CONQUEST OF THE CONTAINER TERMINAL
Of course, if we talk about bottoms on the banks of the dock, the example that draws attention in Livorno concerns the container terminal in the West Bank of Darsena Toscana: in short, Tdt. The Genoese consortium packs its suitcase after seeing that the other party has signed a check for 200 million euros to safely put shares of docks such as Voltri and Sech in Genoa, Vecon in Venice and above all the property of 80% of Tdt in Livorno. In short, control of a terminal that is worth a quay of almost a linear mile, yards to 390,000 square meters, eight mega-cranes, a five-hectare railroad pole and a refrigerator area of just under two (with more than 860 points).
At the beginning, in the summer of 2010, the shares of the Livorno portals and of the Genoese entrepreneurs are on the same level: less than two years later, the Company, in order to face the umpteenth alarm in the accounts, is forced to give up Tdt's control – most beautiful of the family jewels – selling 30% to the Negri pool, which rises to 80%, but with the promise of returning to a balance of 60-40 only at Palazzone, in Via San Giovanni, budgets will be somewhat less in trouble This does not happen, in fact, in the end, the Genoese find themselves offering the remaining 20%. Then they will sell everything to the international funds: Infracapital and Infravia, English and French the other.
IDENTIKIT OF THE NEW MASTERS OF DTT
Infracapital Partners Lp is a British maxi fund with over 900 million pounds: Ed Clarke and Martin Lennon set it up. And he will mean something, however, the symbolic mill, the motherhouse is between Nomura and Rothschild, so in the heart of London, to be near the stone that represents its founding emblem.
We have already met him in Tuscany: not three years have passed since he bought a package of major infrastructure such as a poker of new hospitals (Lucca, Prato, Apuane and Pistoia) and the Pisa subway between the station Fs and airport. Just to say how big the finances are, it's important to keep in mind that it's part of the M & G Investment group, which has managed a mountain of money on behalf of customers worldwide (over 285 billion pounds, virtually all gross domestic product of Hungary and Bulgaria combined). It's not enough: M & G was born from the rib of a financially gigantic "father", not just because it's listed on the London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges: it's called Prudential Plc.
The photo that makes it "Il Sole 24 Ore" gives a good idea of what this giant is, among the largest globally in the life insurance and financial services business: more than 49 billion pounds invested in infrastructure to level global, 24 million insurance customers, a portfolio of 562 billion pounds to manage. Infracapital is the branch of a subsidiary and deals with investments in infrastructure. Port management is not a new occupation, given that for a decade the Associated British Ports are at hand, ie the number one port operator with the UK "license plate" at the helm of some twenty British airports, including first for full-motion tonnes (Immingham) and the second for container traffic (Southampton). He did this by investing almost half a billion pounds from 2006 to 2014 with a not bad return if it is true that gross operating margin growth at that period was about 5.7% per year.
Infipapital is in the center of central London, Infraia has its roots in the outskirts of Paris: Gip has a minority stake, but very significant (42%) thanks to the subsidiary Infravia III Invest Société Anonyme, headquartered in sweet hills Senningerberg Luxembourg, few steps from the airport. In our country, it is in line with Deutsche Bank for the acquisition of control of the airports of Venice and Treviso, but is also active in other areas, aiming at a broad concept of infrastructures: for example in health care and nursing homes . management of motorways and telecommunications facilities or renewable energy plants, and in large data centers (including the largest in Europe in Wales). A managing engineer, Vincent Levita, founded eleven years ago to have about thirty large infrastructure complexes in a dozen different countries, with 4 billion euros of capital divided into four specific funds.
Behind this is the story of one of the most significant French realities in the field of asset management (with assets of more than 70 billion euros): it is Ofi Asset Management, which in turn is born in the channel of a link between the largest companies the insurance industry. Who? One is Macif and the other is Matmut.
The arrival of international funds did not completely remove men from the quayside of the port of Livorno as the former Tdt: in the Genoese terminals society and the main labronico container center, Giulio Schenone retained a 5% stake and the role of the delegated administrator (at the end November, British manager Glenn Hards was appointed non-executive director) while Luigi Negri's "old" Gip – a sort of "Gip bis" – remained at Cilp, 50% shared with Piero Neri in the face of the other half in the hands of the port company led by Enzo Raugei.
The Honored War against Grimali
Up to this point, they may seem like events that pertain to the history of individual terminals, issues that have to do especially with the dynamics within a company. In fact, the attention given by the great entrepreneurial realities, at least at the national level, has been so intensified as to suggest a mutation of the "economic anthropology" of the port of Livorno.
the emblem of it all? The war between the big rafts: Grimaldi vs. Onorato. In the geography of both the port of Livorno is central and became the main battlefield after Grimaldi opened a strong link between Livorno and Sardinia with the stated intention of directing the bow against one of the routes which Onorato's fleet is stronger. Outcome: After three years, the tone of the confrontation rose from the clashes of a normal commercial battle for the bombing of a war without a quarter that eventually involved all the rest. For example, representative organizations: with Onorato, who, within the Confindustrial shipowners, led the split to go and found a new association under the aegis of Confcommercio in conjunction with MSC brands and Stefano Messina as president). For example, politics at the highest level: in the field both Matteo Salvini of the Northern League (with a passionate "endorsement" in the Alis assembly, the association led by Guido Grimaldi) and Minister M5s Danilo Toninelli (protagonist of a front attack to the subsidies provided for in the agreement with the State that Onorato inherited from the privatization of Tirrenia).
On the other hand, even Vincenzo Onorato with his battle for Italian seafarers uses themes in line with the "before the Italians", very dear to the world of the Carroccio, while Emanuele Grimaldi at the Lagonissi meeting insisted on the importance of citizenship income. A sign that politics is seen as an indispensable coast. And not as of today: both leaders of the two business groups were close to "renzismo" in the years in which the star of Matteo Renzi was in ascension with Leopolda …
Onorato was not yet a large group, but with his Navarma he was already coming and going from the port of Livorno to the Archipelago or Sardinia: it was on the Livorno-Olbia route that April 10, 28 years ago occurred with the burning of Moby Prince the largest peacetime disaster in the Navy's recent history (140 dead). In two separate privatizations, both Tirrenia and Toremar ended up in the hands of Onorato: in both cases we are talking about shipping companies linked to Livorno, in fact the headquarters of the former company of the region of Tuscany was here.
THE PRIVATIZATION OF PORT 2000
But in the last years this company has increased its specific weight in the labronico area: it did – along with Marinvest controlled by the gigantic Msc – the process of privatization of the Port of Livorno 2000 with an investment plan of 91 million euros; he did this by acquiring Renzo Conti's LTM (motorways of the sea) and taking control of Agemar; He did this by concentrating the traffic bound for Sardinia to Livorno; He did this by opening a new line between Livorno and Naples (shortly before Christmas) and reinforcing connections with Sicily with the inclusion of a ro-ro capable of carrying 2,600 linear meters of trailers in the Genoa-Livorno-Catania section (since March 2017); he did this by sponsoring the Livorno Calcio.
Already in the annual conclave, this time in Greece, it was Emanuele Grimaldi, in response to a question from the Tyrrhenian Sea, to claim the double thread between his family's shipping company and the port of Livorno: "Livorno is important in the geography of our routes , we are also to Livorno because we are the first customers of the port ". On the other hand, Grimaldi's declaration of war on the hegemony of the Onorato fleet on the connections with Sardinia, where it could have left but Livorno? Also, as reported by the Maritime Consultant statistics, in the port of Livorno in the last 12 months, 57% of the ferry traffic involved routes to and from Sardinia.
Grimaldi had been working on labroni quays for years, when he took the opportunity to stop being a (important) customer to be an operator. The turning point in the summer of five years ago: when D & # 39; Alesio decides to sell his 33% in the steel pact company among the large families of private entrepreneurship in the port, Neri seems poised to acquire control of Sintermar, but Grimaldi's entry into Freifi's family-owned Coifi, ends up freezing in parity the departure that had been unleashed around the terminal that the entry at number 41 of the Leonardo Da Vinci route overlooks the Industrial Canal. Some years later, in July 2016, Grimaldi rises to 90%.
There is also something else that holds good for the near future. It would be an extraordinary result to see Darsena Europe finally before our eyes, but Costantino Baldissara, who at Grimaldi's house is the commercial and operational director, declared in front of the Tyrrhenian book without words that his group was declaring itself. interested in a phase 2 expansion of the port of Livorno to the sea. In fact, the maxi-Darsena bis dedicated to the "motorways of the sea" was already in the early stages and had been put in the drawer because, reducing the need for financial resources, the bar was reduced to make the investment less difficult. Corsini's predecessor Gallanti had also said so, speaking in early 2016 about the possibility of a maxi-terminal of the motorways of the sea.
In those same months, the registration of companies of the Chamber of Commerce registered another turning point. But not in futuristic projects, but in something concrete and tangible: the end of the confrontations between the sintermar world and the Tdt. The moorings of the "motorways of the sea" at the root of the Tuscan Darsena were no longer a topic for discussions with stamped paper blows and became the "Sintermar 2" the junction of the alliance between two great port realities. Exactly the area that will see the captain's officers post seizure and magistrature seals open one of the most relevant investigations on the great maneuvers related to the docks. That's not all: this same corner of a few acres will be in late 2016 in prominence for a war against the use of the area that saw Grimaldi come on the field personally asking for the grant.
ALSO MSC AND THE CATALANS
Let's go back to July 2014. It is the moment when the MSC brand enters the Lorenzini Terminal: it is the world's number two fleet in the cargo sector, with a fleet of over half a thousand ships, cargo capacity 2.5 million of yours (but also a sturdy cruise ship company) and a total turnover exceeding $ 30 billion per year. In mid-July last year, the sale of shares of families of the Lorenzini and Grifoni families allowed Msc to rise to 50%.
The last issue in chronological order to have manifested interest in our port is Creuers del Port de Barcelona: with 80% of the actions is the leader of the group in which the tour operator Aloschi Bros, specialist in shore excursions, is present and the company Bassani Adriatico srl (10% each). The Catalan cruise company is controlled by Royal Caribbean, a Florida-based love boat giant, which has a 62% joint venture with the Turkish giants of Global Investment Holdings: together they also have a majority in the cruise center of Lisbon.
This is the identikit, but what is it that they want? They came second in the privatization of Porto 2000, and seconds of nothing: the jury had said that the pool led by Barcelona had presented the best technical offer, so much so that with respect to the investment plan designed to revolutionize the physiognomy of our passenger port, the highest grade (65) went to the project, which will then be surpassed by the economic offer of Onorato and MSC. So what? Is not this page closed with the final prize?
In fact, the final award was in July, 15 months after the interim. The page that reopens here is that of the onslaught between Onorato and Grimaldi: the owner of Moby, Tirrenia and Toremar, in an interview with the Tyrrhenian Sea, clearly said that the possibility given to Grimaldi to open a minestation at the root of Darsena Toscana is a precedent that he deems it very dangerous because it runs the risk of defusing the possibility of depreciation of the investment of almost 100 million euros to build the new cruise and ferry terminal. And from July also the Port 2000 remains there, in the freezer. The signs coming from Barcelona are very clear: instead of leaving the port of passengers waiting for who knows if the winner does not, he can try the runner-up. But Onorato and MSC counterattack and promise to move forward.
Meanwhile, the world continues and, returning from the great international fair of Seatrade in Miami, the headquarters of the company led by Luciano Guerrieri reports that next season the Virgin (Scarlet Lady) will also stop in Livorno …