Inauguration R&D Lab in Salerno
SOL enters hydroelectric energy production sector
SOL Group quoted on stock exchange
Vivisol expands into 9 European countries
A team of engineers and technicians studies and develops new application technologies for technical gases
Expansion at national level
1960 - 1972
Increasingly large plant are built
Giovanni Annoni and Aldo Fumagalli found the SOL Group
Formed in 1927, the SOL Group has grown constantly thanks to a strategy of internationalisation and diversification in the home care sector.
SOL was founded in 1927 by Giovanni Annoni and Aldo Fumagalli to start up two oxygen and acetylene plants in central Italy. The first years were not easy, but for this very reason helped to form the Group’s “character”, its foresight and prudence. After the Second World War, the second Annoni and Fumagalli generation began ambitious and innovative development projects that would make SOL an Italian market leader in 20 years. In those years the first technical gas "on site plants", were engineered and built close to large glass and steel factories, primary industry customers.
In the seventies SOL moved from a regional to a national strategy, taking advantage of major transformations in the technical gases industry of the time brought about by the development of storage and distribution technologies for liquid cryogenic gases. In the early eighties Sol began to eye European markets.
From 1984 until 1997 the Group expanded its business with plants and filling stations in 13 different European countries, and with five joint ventures exploiting the opportunities created by the opening up of Eastern European markets. This process culminated with quotation on the Milan Stock Exchange in 1998 and with the arrival of the third generation of Annonis and Fumagallis, plus a rejuvenated executive management again coming from outside the two families. SOL continued its process of internationalisation. Today non-domestic sales represent 50% of total Group consolidated revenues. Starting 2010, SOL Group expands its borders beyond Europe engineering a joint venture in India in the gases from air separation with the Sicgil, property of the Dadabhoy family, main liquid carbon dioxide supplier in the Asian country; in Turkey and Morocco.
Along with this international expansion, during the eighties SOL saw a chance to develop and diversify its strategy thanks to a new therapy, developed in the United States of America, for patients with severe respiratory diseases. This involved the use of medicinal oxygen at home with professional and highly specialised home-care services.
SOL was among the first to provide this service in Europe, creating VIVISOL, now one of the most advanced European companies in home care assistance.
Not just internationalisation: in the 80s in the United States a new kind of therapy began to develop for patients with serious respiratory problems, which involved large quantities of oxygen and an attentive and highly specialised home-care service. SOL was one of the first companies to introduce this apparatus in Europe and to offer a home-care service. In 1986 the group formed a specific company, VIVISOL, to develop this market, initially with oxygen therapy and then in the broader respiratory sector and home-care services. From the 90s, VIVISOL’s activities expanded beyond the borders of Italy to a number of European countries. In 1991 it started operating in Belgium and in 1992 in Holland, and in the space of 10 years VIVISOL extended its presence to the eleven main Western European countries and in Turkey. Today SOL, through its VIVISOL subsidiaries, is one of the most advanced European companies in the home-care sector.
From 2002 the SOL group entered the renewable hydroelectric energy production sector in south-east Europe, first in Slovenia and then in Albania and Macedonia, where new hydroelectric power stations were built with an overall installed power of more than 25 MW.
The new century also marked the group’s entry into biotechnologies, making use of the experience it had built up in the construction and management of structures for cryo conservation and for the production of biopharmaceuticals needed for the development of the new biotechnological frontier, first, in 2010, with the BIOTECHSOL company, which handled the extraction and conservation for therapeutic purposes of stem cells contained in the blood of the umbilical cord, then, in 2012, with the purchase of the majority stake in DIATHEVA of Fano, a company formed in 2002 for the development of biopharmaceuticals and molecular diagnostics.