Epson merges European textile subsidiaries

Epson is planning to merge its two European textile subsidiaries Fratelli Robustelli and ForTex, both of which are based in the Como region of Italy and specialise in direct to fabric printing.

For.tex is based in Como in Italy.

Robustelli develops and manufactures textile printers including the Monna Lisa range, which was a joint development with Epson from 2003. The company was started in 1972, and Epson acquired it in 2016. For.Tex mainly takes care of textile ink sales and support. Epson had been working with For.Tex since 2003, with the company being an integral part of the development of the Monna Lisa printers. Epson took a 50 percent stake in For.Tex in 2012, acquiring the rest of the company in 2015.

Epson says that this merger is to strengthen and enhance customer support. But the move mostly seems to be about tightening up Epson’s internal processes for better synergies between the printers, consumables and servicing. Epson says that it sees substantial opportunity to leverage its inkjet technology to expand its business and is thus strengthening its textile printing product lineup and operations. 

Silvia Carena, Epson Italy’s PR manager, explained: “Epson has been studying the reorganization since last fiscal year aiming to integrate management and position the companies to provide even better need-based solutions in terms of total solution of inkjet digital printers, consumables, and services. We have been very cautious about the timing of the execution due to the situation created by the pandemic. We are assessing the post-pandemic market and plan to complete the merger by the end of the year (2020), after which operations will begin under the new organization.”

The two companies will continue to operate at their current locations, with Robustelli acting as the headquarters for the newly merged organisation. Epson says that there are no plans to reduce staff numbers. However, Epson Italy declined to say whether or not either of the Robustelli or For.Tex corporate names would continue to exist, though realistically there’s little to gain from merging together two companies that already operated tightly together. The real benefit will come from integrating the combined Robustelli/ For.Tex operation more tightly into Epson’s worldwide sales and support organisation.





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