De'Longhi Acquires La Marzocco – It Was Foreseeable!

De'Longhi Acquires La Marzocco – It Was Foreseeable!

The year ends with a bang in the coffee industry. De'Longhi lays its cards on the table, forming a new "Coffee Hub" that brings La Marzocco, De'Longhi, and Eversys under one roof. This new corporate structure is controlled by De'Longhi SpA (De'Longhi Group).

This article was originally published in German on

De'Longhi Industrial S.A. had already become the majority shareholder in 2021. At that time, La Marzocco CEO Guido Bernardinelli effectively threw a smokescreen by pointing out that De'Longhi Industrial S.A. and thus the De'Longhi family had become shareholders, but not the bustling coffee machine and household appliance enterprise De'Longhi SpA. And even the De'Longhi Group itself saw the need to issue such a statement on February 8, 2021.

It was somewhat absurd that with this statement, the issue was largely off the table at the time. After all, De'Longhi Industrial S.A., through Giuseppe De'Longhi, also controls the majority of the shares of the De'Longhi Group.

For two years, hardly anyone in the industry talked about the fact that in various structures with the De'Longhi name, the majority shares of La Marzocco were held. Today, all that is a thing of the past.

De'Longhi SpA has now confirmed that it is acquiring approximately 61.4% of the shares of La Marzocco with a new subsidiary (pdf). An additional approximately 26.6% of the shares are located in De'Longhi Industrial, and about 12% are with minority shareholders of La Marzocco.

The new subsidiary will also incorporate the Swiss automatic coffee machine manufacturer Eversys. The De'Longhi Group had already acquired Eversys in 2021.

Looking back, the communication from 2021 seems disingenuous, as the De'Longhi Group was evidently already on an acquisition course. That La Marzocco CEO Guido Bernardinelli wanted to protect the cult status of his brand, however, is not surprising.

zusammen setzung delonghi

La Marzocco Became a Cult Brand Among Baristas Worldwide

Founded in Florence in 1927 by the Bambi brothers, La Marzocco has successfully built up its reputation as a cult espresso machine manufacturer over the last 20 years. A key factor was its sponsorship of the World Barista Championship as the machine sponsor from 2000 to 2008, which led to close ties with world-class baristas and highlighted the high-quality manufacturing of the Florence-based company.

"Handmade in Florence" became a trademark, and I can personally attest to this after visiting the production hall in Scarperia, located 30 km from Florence: everything is assembled, screwed, and tested on site.

Technologically, La Marzocco was responsible for several innovative leaps in the evolution of espresso machines. As early as 1970, a patent was filed for a dual boiler, which would allow for independent heating of the brewing and steam boilers.

The combination of proximity to the barista community, high-quality machines, and local manufacturing in Italy made it easy for baristas worldwide to identify with the La Marzocco brand. Local specialist partners and importers, such as Kialoa in Switzerland, also played a key role. It's no coincidence that La Marzocco Stradas, Lineas, and GB5s were also featured in our cafes and academies.

This mix ensured that La Marzocco became a globally trusted choice for espresso machines, whether commercially in cafes or for home use. "Globally" is not an exaggeration, as according to L'Economia, 97% of the revenue in 2020 was generated abroad. La Marzocco's revenue in 2023, as reported by the De'Longhi Group, amounts to 240 million Euros, with a result of 56.7 million Euros in adjusted EBITDA. The consolidated revenue for the new venture consisting of Eversys and La Marzocco for 2023 is projected at 372 million Euros with an adjusted EBITDA of 87 million Euros.

new business combination

What Becomes of the Cult Status and Quality?

The De'Longhi Group affirms that La Marzocco and Eversys will continue under their current management. Although there's talk of a new Coffee Hub, we interpret this not as a physical consolidation but as a structural connection. Synergy effects, joint development, and technology exchange could theoretically enhance the espresso and coffee machines of all three brands. Cross-selling is also mentioned as a goal, with La Marzocco being closer to Eversys's automatic coffee machines than to De'Longhi's domestic espresso machine segment.

So, will we soon see a La Marzocco GS3 with a pressurized basket à la De'Longhi Dedica? That would be less desirable than incorporating Dedica's volumetrics into the Linea Micra.

It's challenging to predict where the journey with La Marzocco (and Eversys) will lead. Once again, short-term capital interests pose the greatest threat to a good business idea. Despite my trust in LM's R&D team, some of whom I know personally, the question remains: will the focus of development be on improving quality, or will cheaper construction components need to be integrated into the machines to enhance margins?

How does the team's identification with the brand in Scarperia change as the ownership structure becomes more distant? And what impact does this have on the brand's closeness to the barista community? If I want to spend 5000 euros on an espresso machine in the future and thus connect with a company, might I rather choose a Xenia, a Decent, Maro, or ECM?

What concerns me, as I have already mentioned in our test of the Linea Micra (german article), is a problematic direction of development. With the marketing concept of the Micra, La Marzocco has consistently relied on online sales directly from Italy, bypassing its loyal specialist dealers in various countries. In Germany, for instance, the Micra can only be purchased through LM Germany's subsidiary. This subsidiary has several flagship stores in major cities but is never as close to the home barista as the specialist dealer. The consequence is often customers who are overwhelmed with their machine. We see the effects of these developments daily in the comments under our videos and articles, as well as in our courses: questions, frustration, and disappointment because machine buyers are left alone and, despite a good espresso machine, fail to make good coffee.

linea mini montage

Picture from my visit to the La Marzocco factory, 2019

The Potential is Immense!

The new and now public alliance holds many opportunities. La Marzocco, De'Longhi, and Eversys bring a wealth of expertise from different markets. Theoretically, they can all learn from each other. Eversys possibly makes the best fully automatic coffee machines for the gastronomy industry. When properly calibrated, the espresso and coffee results are excellent, barely distinguishable from a traditional espresso machine in a blind tasting. Thus, subsidiary local machine dealers can confidently and without compromise offer the right machines for the usage concept to bakeries or cafes.

De'Longhi itself demonstrates with machines like the Dedica that decent espresso can be affordable. La Marzocco, in collaboration with Marco Beverage Systems, has registered a scale patent that has now been released to the market. Eversys and De'Longhi will benefit from this expertise.

Last but not least, the new consortium can counterbalance other groups like the growing Breville Group in the market. Breville acquired Lelit (Gemme Italian Producers SRL) in 2022, after having incorporated Baratza into the group in 2020.

A final word on the new De'Longhi Coffee Hub before we wait and see what this new connection will actually bring in the future.

Having tested many products from both De'Longhi and La Marzocco, I assert from an external perspective that there is a missing piece in the puzzle. What's lacking is a mill manufacturer in the Coffee Hub. It wouldn't surprise me if another acquisition is forthcoming.

In conclusion: The merger of these three companies is a significant milestone in the history of the coffee machine sector and will undoubtedly have an impact on the global market for coffee products.

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