The SOL Group was founded under the management of Giovanni Annoni and Aldo Fumagalli, with two initial plants for the production of oxygen and acetylene based in Livorno and Ancona.
Alessandro and Renzo Annoni, Giulio and Ugo Fumagalli Romario, the second generation, launched an ambitious project for the innovative development of SOL: these were the years of the first technical gas production plants, located close to the Group’s major key customers, such as steelworks and glass-makers.
SOL became a leading player in the sector in Italy thanks to the transition from a regional market strategy to a national one. This was made possible by embracing the major transformations taking place in the technical gas industry at the time due to the development of technologies for the storage and distribution of gases in cryogenic liquid state.
The Group also began to grow in Europe, creating plants, branches and joint ventures in most European countries over the years, also seizing opportunities offered by the opening of new markets in south-east Europe.
SOL was one of the first companies in Europe to introduce a new form of treatment, developed in the US, for patients affected by serious respiratory disorders. This treatment involves significant quantities of oxygen and a highly specialist Home Care service. In 1986 VIVISOL was established, a company dedicated to developing this market.
In order to be more competitive on the international markets, the Parent company SOL Spa was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. The arrival of the third generation of the Annoni and Fumagalli Romario families at the helm of the company, together with a young executive management team from outside the families, allowed the Group to pursue its internationalisation strategy.
The Group entered the renewable hydroelectric energy production sector, acquiring and developing hydroelectric power plants in Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia and Slovenia.
Taking advantage of the experience acquired in the creation and management of cryobanks for the storage of biological samples, in 2010 the Group entered the biotechnology sector.
SOL entered Turkey with a joint venture in the home care sector and the constitution of a company dedicated to the development of industrial activities.
With the acquisition of the German company SKS, SOL became one of the most important players in the market for CO2 production in Germany.
SOL entered the Moroccan market with the acquisition of a 100% stake in Flosit, and the Brazilian market through a joint venture with a local entrepreneur.
Construction of the Capo d'Orlando station in Italy for the refuelling of hydrogen vehicles, produced solely by means of photovoltaic panels.
SOL expanded its activities in the biotechnology sector by acquiring Personal Genomics, a Verona-based company specialised in DNA sequencing and genetic data interpreting services.
The Group continued along the path of promoting more sustainable mobility, entering the Liquefied Natural Gas market.
The Group acquired two companies in Poland specialising in palliative care, Pallmed and Medseven. In addition, it established a Centre for the testing and maintenance of cylinders and packs with the aim of increasing container quality to further guarantee the health and safety of patients, clients and production personnel.
A plant for the recovery and production of carbon dioxide was built in Bulgaria at a factory that produces Bioethanol, contributing to the reduction of emissions of this gas into the atmosphere.
The Group strengthened its international presence in the home care sector: in Brazil, by acquiring the majority of P Par Partecipacoes, heading Global Care Assistencia Domiciliar, Unit Care Servicos Medicos and DN Global Homecare, in Germany with Intensivservice Wanninger and in Switzerland with Spitex Perspecta.
The Group contributed significantly to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic by designing and producing rapid serological tests and molecular kits for the identification of Covid-19 in Italy through companies operating in the biotech sector. Through the operating structures of VIVISOL, it also offers a complete diagnostic and prevention service thanks to its accredited laboratories for the analysis of molecular swabs and rapid antigenic swabs performed at home.
The Group entered China, strengthening its international presence in the medicinal gases and healthcare services sector. Two companies active in the technical gas sector and in home care were acquired in Greece, consolidating the Group's presence in South-East Europe.
The Group strengthened its presence in the orthopaedic sector thanks to a majority partnership with ITOP Spa OFFICINE ORTOPEDICHE, a leader in Italy in the design and production of custom-made aids, prostheses and orthoses. The Group expands its presence in India thanks to a partnership with BHURUKA GASES Ltd, the leading company in the production of pure and specialty gases and in the production of gas technical gases with energy from renewable sources.