This history is not only about a company, but about a Swiss engineer who had a vision. In 1976, Sergio Zappella established GSL, a company producing espresso coffee machines for home use mainly made for third parties.
Five years later, Sergio and Arthur Schmed, a Swiss engineer, created Saeco S.r.l. with its registered office at Gaggio Montano in the province of Bologna. They decided to operate their business under a proprietary brand name and dedicated considerable time and resources to perfecting technology. The result was the production of the first fully-automatic espresso coffee machine in 1985. This innovation quickly became a major market success because of its broad implications for filling a void in consumer demand. The following year, Sergio Zappella and Giovanni Zaccanti established Cosmec S.p.A.; S.p.A,same as Inc.;for the specific purpose of producing coffee machine parts and eventually prompted the Group to bring all production in-house.
In 1986, improvements were made to the management and control of the sales network for international expansion. From 1989-1993, Cosmec inaugurated production of various espresso coffee and automated vending machines.
In 1995 and 1996, Saeco began marketing its “climate” and “steam” products. In October of 1999, for global reorganization, Cosmec changed its name to the Saeco International Group and assumed the role of the holding company. In December 1999, the Group acquired the control of Gaggia S.p.A. in U.S.The acquisition of Gaggia, a historical brand in the professional coffee machines sector, allowed Saeco to reinforce its position in this market segment and further increase its sales capacity.
In 2009, Saeco was the European leader in automatic espresso coffee machines manufacturing with a 30% market share. Saeco as a company designed, manufactured and distributed automatic, manual and capsule espresso coffee machines for home and professional use, both under its own brands, Saeco and Gaggia, or on behalf of third-party brands, OEMs and Lavazza. Saeco also manufactured beverage and snack vending machines. 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.
On May 25, 2009, Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands, listed on four stock exchanges, announced that it has reached a binding agreement to acquire Saeco International Group S.p.A., the Italian-based leading espresso machine maker, which is controlled by PAI partners who have in-depth knowledge of its target markets.
Today, Sergio Zappella is Chairman, Giovanni Zaccanti is Vice Chairman and Arthur Schmed are Directors on the Executive Committee of Saeco International Group, which is part of Philips Saeco. Today, Philips Saeco continues to market the high quality Saeco espresso machines, coffee makers and accessory products.