April 29, 2004
Found this so far:
[url="http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-illy-eats-chocolate-illy-il-cioccolato-della-domori-/2006/07/25/1731327.htm"]TMCnet[/url] [url="http://www.agi.it/english/news.pl?doc=200607241421-1104-RT1-CRO-0-NF30&page=0&id=agionline-eng.bnessitaly"]AGI online[/url]
It all sounds rather positive but very brief. Nothing really about the backgrounds, except that Illy is trying to find "entrepreneurs who have transformed their passion for the product into a way of thinking". Which seems to me like they are aiming for quality products. But it could all be just marketing talk.
July 31, 2006
Some extracts from the press release - firstly I should mention that it says "that Domori S.r.l. has signed a preliminary agreement with Illy Group S.p.A. in order to facilitate further growth of the company, reinforce its role as leader in the market and continue international expansion" - so it's not yet signed and sealed, but I guess they're pretty serious if they're announcing it.
Hope, perhaps, come from "20% will continue to be owned by the partners of Domori that have been responsible for strategic and operational functions of the company. They will be the future guarantors of the company"
It's signed by Gianluca.
I think that Domori have done pretty well in the Italian market, and perhaps they just don't have the financial power to reproduce this internationally. If the quality is maintained, then it could be a good thing. Who knows, they may even take the UK market seriously.
Let's not forget that Valrhona are in a similar position - owned by a French dairy conglomerate, without losing their chocolate focus.
I'd have to agree with Sebastian above...I don't see why folks should immediately have such a negative reaction to this announcement. Mergers and acquisitions aren't necessarily bad or wrong--it all depends on the development of the relationship, and it's equally as possible that the resources available to a company like Domori will benefit the continued development of their products and the premium chocolate market in general. (I'm not suggesting there's no potential downside either, just that things like this have equal possibility in directions both positive and negative.)
After all, smart investors/acquirers want to see successful small companies continue to expand on their success, not necessarily change the nature of their business...