I’ll tell you the story of Intermarine

I'll tell you the story of Intermarine

The fiberglass hulls of Intermarine continue to float undeterred, which will perhaps give a little shade (but it is not said) to Fincantieri. The italics of Teo Dalavecuras

In the beginning there was Max Meyer, the paint factory of the cavalier Leopoldo Varasi, well known in Milan also for having, like many masters of the post-war period, the "short arm"; in any case, full member of the business elite.

In the 1980s, his son Gianni embarked on a confindustrial "career" with some success, wrote and published a book with a preface by Giorgio Bocca – not a small sign of distinction – and for a while he looked after his father's watchful gaze at the family. At some point he enters high finance.

He finds (or more likely they find him) two high-profile "godparents" such as Francesco Micheli and Sergio Cusani, even then, albeit young, "old" foxes of local finance. Buy, and no one understands why, a shipyard never heard of, Intermarine: economic journalists discover two new terms: "composite materials" and "minesweeper" (made with composite materials from the Intermarine wave).

In the meantime, Varasi buys 10% of Montedison, which after the epic of Eugenio Cefis is in crisis of identity (and of shareholders). Pass the package on to Intermarine which seems plagued by huge liquidity and which in any case – he explains – was a good investment because the armaments industry has a bright future, a forecast unfortunately confirmed by the facts.

But it is only the principle. From Ravenna, Raul Gardini, son-in-law and successor of the legendary Serafino Ferruzzi, crashed on Milan, crashed with his plane near Forlì, a few steps from home, a few years earlier: with 10% bought by Varasi and the other shares collected on the market with Enrico Cuccia's silent blessing sits on the throne of Foro Bonaparte. The years of the maxi-yachts of the America's Cup begin, journalists discover where San Diego is located. The rulers of Turin do not hide a slight annoyance.

The story ends, as it should, with a very loud bang, the echo of which reaches Greece, where Gardini had bought the second cement company in the country with a rather controversial operation. But from the point of view of the two protagonists, Gardini and Varasi, of the many intermediaries and journalists more or less in the following, if you don't want to be bigoted it was worth it. And not just from their point of view. After all, they were our modest Roaring Twenties, the Great Gatsbys from second row economic power and above all non-Anglo-Saxon: in fact they ended up in the universal (Catholic) penance of Clean Hands.

Meanwhile Rag. dr. HC Roberto Colaninno, restorer of Olivetti on behalf of Carlo De Benedetti (who had bought it from the old man) and then on his own. He uses it to invent the first private cellular telephone company (Omnitel) that soon sells. Since with the phones there is a feeling, he launches the climb to Telecom, he quickly leaves it, for alleged disagreements with his climbing partners, not before having secured the billions of orders. He invests them, becomes master of many things, including Intermarine. He is still the owner today.

The two protagonists are dead. Dell'Olivetti has even lost its brand. Some heirs of the Ferruzzi Group remain with a passion for horses. Max Meyer ended up in solid American hands. Della Montedison remains the Milanese palace of Foro Bonaparte that someone had dreamed of transforming into a five-star hotel, and the numerous published and unpublished books that have been dedicated to this unfortunate great Italian company, including a sort of epic poem composed of a great journalist of the past, but also press officer of Montedison di Cefis, Vieri Poggiali. Telecom (now Tim) is reminiscent of Montedison in the 1980s: two industrial groups which have made the history of the Italian economy at different times but which tends to be removed from collective memory. Perhaps because it is easier to think that big business is not part of our DNA ("not to pay the duty" according to a Milanese saying).

The fiberglass hulls of Intermarine continue to float undeterred, which will perhaps give a little shade (but it is not said) to the giant of the Italian shipbuilding industry . Involuntary symbol of revenge, after thirty years of financial and virtual intoxication, of the real economy?

Without neglecting that, like all true symbols, it is also a paradox: owned by Colaninno, one of the most brilliant "barons" of the "paper against paper" economy.


This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/smartcity/vi-racconto-intermarine/ on Sat, 11 Jul 2020 05:00:52 +0000.