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Xinhua Silk Road
CLASS

Meta System, innovation champion, becomes 100% Chinese

July 22, 2019


Abstract : After Deren Electronics of Shenzhen, already holding a share, Meta System now welcomes Sichuan Gloport Investment Group – the fund of Sichuan’s leading public group – and its diversified assets.

MILAN, July 18 (Class Editori) – The news of Ningbo Qijing Holding’s purchase of Tenova’s HTC group – specialized in metalwork, generating a 100-million turnover – comes as a new confirmation of China’s interest in European (Italian in particular) tech realities.

Meta System, a 120-million turnover and three operative segments – e-mobility, data transmission, and security systems – decided to strengthen its ties with Asian investors, hoping to support a new development plan.

Deren Shenzhen Electronics, listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, was already a majority shareholder – owning 60% of Meta System since 2015 together with some Italian funds, Idea Capital and Nem. Then the group opened up the company’s capital to a new partner, welcoming the Sichuan Gloport Investment Group, part of a giant public conglomerate – the Sichuan Provincial Investment Group (SCIC), active in energy, real estate development, public services, and innovative manufacturing.

The company, founded in 1973 by Italian entrepreneur Giuseppe Simonazzi – not out of management but President of the supervisory board – is based in the Reggio Emilia region, and has one of its most important plants in Mornago (VA). It specializes in the research, development and production of technology for advanced security systems, servicing the automotive sector in both its OE, after-market and energy segments. It has 220 employees, over 150 registered patents, and a 120-millio turnover generated through the synergy of its three divisions – e-mobility, data transfer, and security systems (alarms).

The operation will lead to the strengthening of the company’s capital base through the broadening of its shareholding group. Following the new additions, Meta System’s shares will be as it follows: Deren Shenzen Electronics with 35.09%; Sichuan Gloport Investment with 34.5%; CMAF with 17.83%; and China Alliance with 12.58%.

“When we were choosing the new shareholder, the time factor was of fundamental importance – because the operation should bring new funding about in the short term. These will go in support of our present and future industrial strategies,” said a spokesperson of Meta System. “Strengthening the company’s capital base through this recent agreement does not exclude that, in the near future, we may have new industrial investors joining in, so we will maintain our connections with the multinationals active in the automotive sector. They may prompt a range of possible new evolution stages for Meta System’s governance”.

Meta System is a leader in the Italian industry for what concerns connectivity in motion, applied in particular to the automotive sector and therefore to autonomous driving.

Since 2017, the company has been collaborating in this sector with Huawei, through an agreement regarding the connected car strategy. The agreement signed with the company of Reggio Emilia – world leader in the usage-based insurance market (Ubi) – on remote control devices, involved the development of interconnected vehicles application and the supply of a series of Ubi end-to-end solutions for the industry.

Basically, MetaSystem's interconnected vehicle applications used to be integrated with Huawei's IoT OceanConnect platform.

“The interaction between the HuaweiOceanConnect IoT platform and MetaSystem allows us to provide applications for high quality connected cars,” explained at the time Zhang Xiwei, the Huawei manager who closed the deal.

Founded by Giuseppe Simonazzi, the businessman who until 2010 also helped Octo Telematics to grow, a manufacturer of the data recorder for cars, taken over by the Charme fund and then by Renova, the Meta System Group launched a plan of accelerated growth together with the new Chinese shareholder that by 2020 should have brought the company to a turnover of 400 million euros, of which 150 in Asia, largely based on the development of the automotive market in China.

However, things did not go according to forecasts and despite the acknowledged technological excellence the turnover remained at the levels of 4 years ago and Simonazzi, after signing the agreement with Huawei, left the management definitively.

Meta System is active in the research and development departments and production facilities in Reggio Emilia, Mornago (Varese) and Shenzen with 700 employees, a company founded thanks also to the contribution of Simest.

(Source:Class Editori)

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