This story is not just about a company, but about a Swiss engineer who had a vision. In 1976, Sergio Zappella founded GSL, a company that produced espresso machines for home use mainly for third parties.
Five years later, Sergio and Arthur Schmed, a Swiss engineer, created Saeco Srl with its registered office in Gaggio Montano in the province of Bologna. They decided to operate their business under their own brand and devoted a considerable amount of time and resources to perfecting the technology. The result was the production of the first fully automatic espresso machine in 1985. This innovation quickly became a huge success in the marketplace due to its wide-ranging implications in filling a gap in consumer demand. The following year, Sergio Zappella and Giovanni Zaccanti established Cosmec SpA; SpA, like Inc.; with the specific purpose of producing parts for coffee machines and eventually led the Group to bring all production in-house.
In 1986 improvements were made in the management and control of the commercial network for international expansion. From 1989 to 1993, Cosmec inaugurated the production of various automatic vending and espresso coffee machines.
In 1995 and 1996, Saeco began marketing its “climate” and “steam” products. In October 1999, for a global reorganization, Cosmec changed its name to Saeco International Group and assumed the role of holding company. In December 1999, the Group acquired control of Gaggia SpA in the USA. The acquisition of Gaggia, a historical brand in the professional coffee machine sector, enabled Saeco to strengthen its position in this market segment and further increase its sales capacity.
In 2009, Saeco was the European leader in the manufacture of automatic espresso coffee machines with a market share of 30%. Saeco as a company designed, manufactured and distributed automatic, manual and capsule espresso machines for home and professional use, both under its own brands, Saeco and Gaggia, as well as on behalf of third-party brands, OEMs and Lavazza. Saeco also manufactured vending machines for drinks and snacks. Saeco, headquartered in Gaggio Montano, Bologna, Italy, had around 1,400 employees. In March they closed their doors with estimated sales of 318 million euros.
Us May 25, 2009, Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands, listed on four stock exchanges, announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Saeco International Group SpA, the leading Italian-based manufacturer of espresso machines, controlled by PAI partners who have in-depth knowledge of their target markets.
Currently, Sergio Zappella is President, Giovanni Zaccanti is Vice President and Arthur Schmed are Directors of the Executive Committee of Saeco International Group, which is part of Philips Saeco. Today, Philips Saeco continues to market high-quality Saeco espresso machines, coffee makers and accessory products.