Entrepreneurship, innovation, transparency, integrity and passion are the values we hold dear and are the common thread that connects our past and present in a story of growth and success that fills us with pride and confidence for the future.
In 1901, Giovanni De Agostini establishes Istituto Geografico De Agostini in Rome. The first works, the "Calendario Atlante De Agostini" and the first 1:250,000 scale map of Italy, are a huge success. The headquarters are then moved to Novara, Piedmont.
Establishment of Istituto Geografico De Agostini
Istituto Geografico De Agostini is founded in Rome by geographer Giovanni De Agostini.
Publication of the first edition of "Calendario Atlante"
The first "Calendario Atlante De Agostini" is released, combining a pocket calendar with a geographical overview of the world with data and maps. The huge success immediately makes it the flagship product of the Institute, still published to this day and now in its 119th edition.
Istituto Geografico De Agostini moves to Novara, Italy
Giovanni De Agostini moves the headquarters to Piedmont, near his hometown (in the Biella area), leveraging his good connections within the local industrial ecosystem.
Entry of Marco Adolfo Boroli, forefather of the shareholder family
In 1919, Marco Adolfo Boroli acquires Istituto Geografico De Agostini with his partner Cesare Angelo Rossi.
Marco Adolfo Boroli e Cesare Angelo Rossi
Marco Adolfo Boroli and Cesare Angelo Rossi take over Istituto Geografico De Agostini, retaining its name and trademark. The injection of fresh capital boosts the development of the company, with new publishing lines and a tenfold increase in output.
The management of brothers Achille and Adolfo Boroli and leadership in publishing
In 1946, the Boroli family takes over the entire share capital of the company, acquiring Cesare Rossi's stake.
Under the leadership of Marco Boroli's sons, Achille and Adolfo, the business experiences fresh momentum.
Substantial industrial investments, innovation and entrepreneurship enable the company to grow stronger, diversifying its publishing business in Italy and abroad: De Agostini becomes a globally-recognized brand.
Achille and Adolfo Boroli
The Boroli family becomes the sole owner of the company. Achille Boroli, Marco Adolfo's eldest son, leads a phase of great development, first alone and then, for more than 30 years, with his brother Adolfo.
Debut of "Il Milione"
The first issue of the encyclopedia "Il Milione" is released and exceeds 120,000 copies. The “Collectibles" era begins.
Graphic and publishing activities are diversified
Graphic activities are hived off from publishing activities and concentrated in the new company Officine Grafiche De Agostini.
New “Grande Atlante Geografico”
After five years of efforts, the new edition of "Grande Atlante Geografico" is released. The work sells more than one million copies worldwide, an unprecedented achievement in the history of cartography.
The impressive growth of the publishing sector
The Group begins a period of 15 years of strong expansion in Italy and abroad, driven by innovative product and marketing strategies, effective advertising planning, international knowledge-sharing, and the development of multimedia products. The publishing Group becomes a world leader in Collectibles’ sales and profitability, with a presence in more than thirty countries and publications in a dozen languages.
Joint venture with Planeta
De Agostini starts a joint venture with Planeta, Spain's major publishing group. Building on the merger of the Partworks business, this collaboration will enable De Agostini to grow in Spain and become a market leader in Latin America as well.
Partnership with Mondadori
In Italy, Mondea is established as a joint venture between De Agostini and Mondadori, which revitalizes the Segrate-based publisher's extensive literary catalogue by leveraging De Agostini's expertise in the newsstand channel. The joint venture is preceded by the purchase of a stake in Amef (Mondadori Group's controlling holding company) by De Agostini, selling it after a short time with a capital gain equal to ten times the investment.
Acquisition of Guilde International du Disque
Guilde International du Disque, a company specializing in mail-order sales, is acquired in France. De Agostini lands in the international mail-order business, and relaunches Partworks in France.
Joint venture with Rizzoli
With the launch of the magazine “Dove”, a joint venture named Darp (De Agostini Rizzoli Periodici) is established between De Agostini and Rizzoli, reflecting the Group's positive relationships with all major Italian publishers.
The Panini deal
Together with Investitori Associati, De Agostini acquires Modena-based Panini, resold in 1994 to Marvel with a capital gain equal to ten times the investment.
Marco Drago and the start of the diversification and internationalization process
With the appointment of Marco Drago as Chairman, the Group enters the new millennium and embarks on a path of diversification and internationalization, starting with the Seat Pagine Gialle deal. The Group's portfolio expands to include companies from the gaming, media, insurance, and finance industries. In 2007, Fondazione De Agostini is established.
Group leadership to Marco Drago
Adolfo Boroli passes away in 1996 and Achille steps down as chairman of the holding company. The shareholders choose Marco Drago as the Chairman to lead the Group.
Between 1997 and 1998, De Agostini takes part in the privatization of Seat Pagine Gialle. The transaction, resulting in the sale of the company along with the Virgilio portal to Telecom Italia three years later, generates a significant capital gain for the Group, which is then reinvested in its diversification process.
The Lottomatica deal and the acquisition of UTET
The Group acquires Lottomatica, Italy's leading regulated gaming company: the first step on a path that will lead to the creation of the world's major gaming and lottery player (now IGT). The Group acquires the UTET publishing house and makes a number of financial investments (including Eutelsat).
Toro Assicurazioni and Antena 3
The Group acquires Toro Assicurazioni from Fiat, which is then listed in 2005. Together with Planeta, a controlling stake is acquired in Grupo Antena 3, Spain's leading radio and television network (later renamed Atresmedia).
Acquisition of GTECH and disposal of Toro Assicurazioni
Lottomatica acquires GTech Holdings (taking its name), a NYSE-listed company and a leader in the U.S. lottery industry. The deal, one of the largest acquisitions of an Italian company in the U.S. market, creates one of the world's most prominent groups in the lottery and gaming industry, with a significant presence in all international markets and a broad portfolio of technologies, services and content.
De Agostini sells Toro Assicurazioni to the Generali Group, earning a substantial capital gain, and subsequently, acquires a stake in the Trieste-based insurance group.
De Agostini acquires control of Cdb Web Tech, a company listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. It will later be renamed DeA Capital and become active in financial investment and asset management.
Establishment of Fondazione De Agostini
Fondazione De Agostini is established, reflecting the Group's commitment to ensuring the long-term effectiveness and significance of its social endeavors.
Acquisition of IGT
GTech acquires International Game Technology (IGT), world leader in gaming machines and social gaming based in Las Vegas. The shares of the new group, renamed IGT, are listed on the NYSE.
Zodiak Media merges with Banijay Group
Zodiak Media, a result of the Group's consolidation of several prominent national TV content production companies, merges with Banijay Group, another major player in the same market. In 2020, Banijay acquires Endemol Shine Group and subsequently joins FL Entertainment (listed in Amsterdam), a global player in digital entertainment.
De Agostini Group wins the IMD Global Family Business Award
The De Agostini Group receives the IMD Global Family Business Award from the IMD - International Institute for Management Development, recognizing it as the best family business of the year worldwide. The award is given to companies that have successfully combined family and business values by passing them on through generations.
DeA Capital and the development of the pan-European platform in Real Estate Asset Management
With the aim of creating a pan-European platform in Real Estate Asset Management, after the establishment of DeA Capital Real Estate France in 2018, DeA Capital Real Estate Iberia, DeA Capital Real Estate Poland and DeA Capital Real Estate Germany are created in the space of three years.
New governance and the transition to the fourth generation of shareholders
The fourth generation, that has already joined the company, takes on increasing responsibilities.
The new strategy focuses on strengthening the "core" business portfolio, while also exploring new investment opportunities to generate fresh value within a modern and dynamic group.
Deals of the year
IGT completes its path to strategically focus activities on lottery operations in Italy through two major disposals: first the sale of its Italian slot machine and betting business, subsequently the sale of its payment services (LIS Holding and LISPAY) to PostePay, a Poste Italiane company.
The same year sees the finalized disposal of the investment in Assicurazioni Generali and the launch of the joint venture between De Agostini Libri and Mondadori Libri, following the sale of the Education publishing to the latter in the previous year.
New governance and management structure of De Agostini Group
De Agostini Group's Board of Directors changes. Lorenzo Pellicioli is appointed Chairman, Enrico Drago and Nicola Drago (fourth generation) are confirmed as Vice-Chairmen, and Marco Sala takes over as CEO. Marco Drago steps down after 25 years as Chairman of the Group and is appointed Chairman Emeritus.