Non only exclusive drugs, but a multinational-style distribution organization, that tripled the company value on stock exchange. Demonstrating that a family-driven company can dominate also in pharmaceutical industry

Giovanni Recordati

Giovanni Recordati

It is not enough to be satisfied with achievements, albeit significant ones. The real balance sheet for a company does not occur at the end of the year, but is measured over the long term, in cycles that can last for longer than a generation. Giovanni Recordati, Ceo of the pharmaceutical company of the same name, knows this all to well. That is why he does not rule out anything, not when the stakes concern the growth, health and robustness of the family treasure. 

Yet, of course, balance sheets and income statements are good units of measurement. Over the last three years the Recordati company has more than tripled its share price on the stock market, a rapid rise that is down to its underlying growth trend. Estimates for the end of 2015 predict a turnover of more than one billion (987.4 million in 2014), not to mention assets and operating and net profits that have risen to double figures percentage-wise, amounting to 270 and 190 million respectively. Revenues are not lacking and debt is less than moderate. With its 2017 business plan that aims for constant growth via acquisitions and a respectable return for shareholders, Recordati is demonstrating that family capitalism is able to compete, and even surpass, the results of the more impersonal and detached settings of aggressive multinationals within the sector.

Yet to those that say that in an increasingly global world, where challenges are found in the most remote corners of the planet, that the moment has also come for Recordati to open its doors to venture capital, so as to set the stage for new, and perhaps more impressive, acceleration, Giovanni Recordati, president and Ceo of the company, responds realistically: «Recordati’s priority has always been to grow. Up until the present day the current corporate structure has been able to ensure this objective. If one day we had to consider the entry of institutional investors, alliances with other companies, in corporate terms or in other ways, so as to continue down this path, these options would have to be very carefully evaluated».

However, they would be transactions that would pose no additional risk to stakeholders. In the last 15 years Recordati has made around 20 acquisitions: «The basis of our decision to acquire a company has always been the careful evaluation of the strategic rationale, the weighing up of the associated financial risk and how easily it would integrate with the rest of the group. Acquisitions will continue to be an important factor in our growth in the future and we will adhere to the same principles when doing so».

The company is looking to the world. The heart of Recordati, however, remains in Correggio, Italy, a town with 26,000 inhabitants in the hard-working Emilia-Romagna region where over two centuries ago Giovanni Battista bought an apothecary. Yet today the headquarters of what has become one of the most important pharmaceutical companies in Italy is found in Milan and its home is Europe, with international revenues reaching 80% of total turnover.

Since the industrial turning-point put in place by the eponymous Giovanni Recordati in 1926, with the founding of the Laboratorio Farmacologico Reggiano (Reggiano Pharmacological Laboratory), the company has been growing. With its listing on the stock market, which occurred over thirty years ago at the behest of another family member, Arrigo, the company earned a significant level of exposure. Yet, as Giovanni Recordati reminds us, the current Ceo and son of Arrigo, «managerial, financial and administrative discipline were already in place».

Yesterday Giovanni Battista was preparing cough syrups in the back room of his apothecary. Today this giant run by Giovanni Recordati has departments that are engaged in making pharmaceuticals to cure rare diseases. This is an example of what Italian family capitalism can do.