A brand that seemed destined to disappear and has instead risen again. The story of Gazzotti’s Workers BuyOut represents an exceptional example of courage and tenacity in dealing with difficulties and preserving professional legacy.
Gazzotti is a leading company in the production of prefinished parquet. It was founded in 1910 thanks to an intuition of Leonello Gazzotti, and since then it has been a point of reference in the sector.
Since the very beginning, Gazzotti has been committed to the production of quality wooden floors, becoming the official supplier of the Royal House. Since then, construction technologies have increasingly evolved: in line with the new interior furnishing styles, Gazzotti parquets have been enriched of new wood species, new formats, compositions, laying patterns. The company’s production culture, made of rigorous selection of raw materials and constants attention to the quality of the manufacturing processes, on the other hand, has remained the same. Beyond 100 years of experience, knowledge of nature and raw materials, passion for beauty and for design, technological and aesthetic innovation to create a parquet that’s exciting, beautiful to caress and to look at, environmentally friendly and unmistakably Italian.
In 2018 the company had to face a crisis, which, however, was resolved in a different way than the others. No closures, no rescue by roped parties, industrial or financial funds. It was the workers who kept an over 100-year-old company afloat. They decided to take a bold path and purchased the company through a Workers’ BuyOut, thus becoming the owners.
The idea of taking back the company came to about twenty employees, who addressed to Legacoop which, on the basis of the Marcora law of 1985, had developed an accompanying program that allowed workers to turn themselves into cooperatives, to try to save companies in crisis, investing a good part of their own Naspi quotas, i.e. the monthly unemployment benefits, redeeming them from INPS and requesting an advance from Banca Etica. The workers were also able to count on funds made available by CFI, Cooperation Finance Enterprise, the company owned by Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development which promotes and finances the creation of cooperative businesses and by Coopfond, the mutual fund of Legacoop.
The former workers of the company in liquidation have created a cooperative, in order to conserve their workplace and the company’s production capacity. Thus, Gazzotti was able to continue to produce and sell their parquet floors in Italy and in many countries of the world, including South Korea, Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Romania and France. That was no less than the realization of many workers’ dream namely that of taking over their own company in crisis and saving it from bankruptcy.
«We are simply male and female workers who have put on the hat of the entrepreneurs», Andrea Signoretti, one of the Board Members of Gazzotti 18, likes to comment. “18” as the year of rebirth, and also as the number of those who made this brave choice.
The story of Gazzotti’s Workers BuyOut is an epic of determination which certainly deserves to be told and celebrated.