Hydor – a global brand known for making aquarium equipment and supplies has been sold to Ferplast SpA – a large global company that makes pet products including in the aquatics market. Ferplast has taken over Hydor and told us they will “give continuity and even more strength to the manufacturing capacity and distribution”. They plan on keeping the Hydor brand alive.
Hydor for its part has been in trouble since last year. The Italian-based company was in Italian court since August 21, 2020. Production stopped in January 2021 with a few small containers of products arriving at ports across the world. Retailers started to complain about stocking orders being filled at around 50 percent and the products started to disappear on store shelves. Distributors and retailers refused to carry the products.
On August 21, 2020 Hydor SRL entered the procedure of “concordato preventivo prenotativo” (Arrangement with Creditors) under the control of Tribunale of Vicenza in Italy. The court procedure is aimed at the management of Hydor’s crisis, and establishing a pressing control by the Tribunal on the Company’s actions. This also includes not paying debt back that is owned to other companies a tricky situation that we are unsure how Ferplast will resolve.
In other words, Hydor ran out of money and was entered into the local court system. As a brand Hydor struggled with vision and focus often chasing products with stiff competition and lower margins. In addition, Hydor’s large OEM business put margin pressure on the business. Hydor SRL had no strategic vision (MAP, product, Amazon strategy, etc.) and it was a “race to the bottom” as one executive told us. However, the Italian law firm that represented Hydor in the transaction was quick to point out to us that Hydor was not declaring bankruptcy. And we agree they were not but they were very close.
Ferplast has a very challenging task of trying to rebuild Hydor and Hydor USA. Top talent has defected to newer opportunities and retailers along with distributors are reluctant to continue to stock the products. However, the Koralia power head which is loved by many consumers globally would be a good place to start.