Nice, a multi-national company based in Italy with a portfolio of Home Management and Building Management brands (including former Nortek Security and Control brands) and its primary shareholder BeNice Holding, has finalized a strategic partnership with FSI, an Italian private equity investment company. This partnership was first announced in August as part of a capital investment by FSI and has now fully closed.
See more on Nice partnering with FSI
As Strata-gee reported previously, Nice acquired Nortek Security and Control from Melrose PLC back in October 2021 for a total purchase price of $285 million. The move was seen as an opportunity for Nice to expand its hold on the U.S. market, as well as to broaden its product scope in Smart Home and Home Automation (as well as security and access control). For Melrose, it was an opportunity to dispose of an asset inconsistent with its preferred portfolio of industrial companies.
Clearly, Nice is comfortable making big decisions, like acquiring Nortek Security and Control for example, its largest acquisition to date. Even though the company acquired a stable of some of the industry’s most famous brands – such as SpeakerCraft, 2GIG, ELAN, Linear, MightyMule, Proficient, Gefen, Xantech, Panamax, Furman, numera, and IntelliVision – it later decided to rebrand them all to the Nice brand…leaving all of those brand names to fade into history.
Strategic Partnership Announced in August
In early August this year, the company announced a major reorganization of its U.S. operations, including establishing a Board of Directors for the U.S. regional operation.Little did we know at that time, that another major announcement would come just weeks later.
Then, at the end of August, the company announced that it was entering this “strategic partnership” with FSI…a partnership that “supports the next phase of development and growth for Nice through a shared path aiming to capitalize on the strong global leadership position achieved by the company.” The announcement also said the partnership will provide for “important investments in value creation to accelerate organic growth” as well as “combining synergies from both organizations to achieve strategic objectives.”
We are delighted to have identified the right partner for Nice. This partnership better enables us to make further investments in both markets and technologies strategic to our growth, thus improving people’s quality of life and contributing to a better environment. These are the development directions in which we believe and in which we are ready to commit ourselves financially, both organically and through M&A, as we recently did withh the important acquisition of Nortek Security & Control in the United States.Lauro Buoro, Nice Founder and Chairman, in August 2023 prepared statement
A €100 Million Investment in Nice
In that announcement, we learned that Nice is an €800 million (about $900 million) operation with 2,800 employees across five continents, serving customers in more than 100 countries. We also learned that FSI is investing €100 million in Nice. The deal is structured as an investment by FSI “through a reserved capital increase for a minority stake in the company’s capital.”
With this investment, FSI confirms its DNA to support the most foresighted Italian entrepreneurs in creating leaders, with strong R&D and global footprint. Our track-record in the technology industry, in which we invested a billion Euro in recent years, makes FSI the right partner to support the next phase of Nice growth.Maurizio Tamagnini, FSI CEO in August deal announcement
FSI Targets Italian Middle Market Companies with a Strong Growth Opportunity
FSI called itself an institutional investor but it operates very much like the private equity companies we are familiar with over here in the States. Based in Milan, the company favors Italian companies with an entrepreneurial style of operation that are middle market sized. Its strategy is to identify those middle market companies that have an identifiable growth opportunity. FSI then works with the management of these companies to help them develop to their potential, most likely leading to an exit a few years later.
FSI Gets Two Seats on the Board of Directors
In the current formal announcement of the deal closing, we learn even more. First, it confirms the €100 million investment and notes that FSI will place two representatives on the Nice Board of Directors. These representatives are Carlo Bozotti, a former CEO of STMicroelectronics who will serve as Vice President of the Board of Directors…and Carlo Moser, FSI’s Investment Director.
This latest announcement notes several achievements by Nice, including seven acquisitions since 2018 – including Nortek Security & Control in 2021. With Nortek, revenues reached nearly €800 million and helped the company book a 40.7% YoY growth as compared to 2020.
Nice is Staged for Major Thrust in South America
The company also notes that in June 2023, it opened a new headquarters in Limeira, Brazil as a result of a €20 million investment. It says that the new HQ is part of a “cutting-edge complex” built on 20,000 square meters that includes a smart factory based on the principles of Industry 4.0. The campus includes an export hub which will play a fundamental role in the company’s growth strategy in Latin America and globally.
The partnership with FSI represents an important step in our development path and allows us to have additional resources available to continue investing in strategic projects forour mission to have a ppositive impact on people’s quality of life, thanks to innovation that travels hand in hand with research, sustainabililty and continuous improvement.Lauro Buoro
Learn more about Nice by visiting niceforyou.com.
See more on FSI at fondofsi.it.