Gruppo Editoriale Mauri Spagnol is a privately held publishing group and the third largest publisher in Italy. It controls 9 publishing houses: Corbaccio, Garzanti Libri, Guanda, Longanesi, Nord, Ponte alle Grazie, Salani, TEA, Vallardi, as well as ProLibro, and holds 50% of Superpocket. It launched Duomo Ediciones in Barcelona, Spain, in 2008.

The largest shareholder of GeMS is Messagerie Italiane, Italy’s leading book and periodical distribution group, which currently serves 230 publishers and 4,000 points of sale.

Claiming to be the fastest growing group in Italian publishing, GeMS has sold 10 million books directly, and another 6 million copies under license agreements through third parties.

GeMS was founded in its current form in October 2005, following an agreement between the Mauri and Spagnol families, as a new holding company named Gruppo editoriale Mauri Spagnol. Gruppo editoriale Mauri Spagnol aims to “enable the individual publishing houses to invest in joint projects, create stronger product lines and enhance the visibility of the group’s authors, as well as to both streamline and develop synergies in their central functions, while leaving each one of them complete editorial freedom.”

Analysis & Key Developments

Financial

Grupo Messagerie provided revenues from publishing and book distribution financial information for this report, while revenues from periodicals are excluded.

In 2013 GeMS recovered from a significant drop in revenues over recent years. The company had experienced rapid growth until 2010, when they reported a decline due to a newly introduced reporting structure along with a shrinking book market and general economic crisis in Italy.

Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization

The Gruppo Messagerie, acting as a holding structure, oversees book and magazine publishing and distribution, claiming that some 30 percent of the Italian book trade is serviced by the group under its president Achille Mauri.

Stefano Mauri, President and CEO of GeMS, was appointed Vice-President for the group in January 2013 to oversee strategic developments. Meanwhile, a foundation has been created to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the La Scuola per Librai Umberto e Elisabetta Mauri (Umberto and Elisabetta Mauri Booksellers’ School) in Venice.

Gruppo Espresso acquired 51% of of Mo-Net S.r.l. from Messagerie for its online movie service www.mymovies.it.

Digital

In 2010, GeMS became a founding member, together with Feltrinelli and RCS Rizzoli, of Italian ebook platform Edigita, offering services in the domains of ebook distribution, digital marketing and conversion. Retail partners include bol.it, ibs.it, illibraio.it, ebook.it and ‘book republic’.

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