Gruppo Riva

Last updated
Gruppo Riva
Type Private
FounderAdriano and Emilio Riva
Headquarters Milan, Italy
Key people
Emilio Riva , Chairman
Fabio Riva, CEO
ProductsHot rolled flat steel
Iron rod
RevenueIncrease2.svg 11.261 billion (2008)
Increase2.svg 0.738 billion (2008)
Increase2.svg 0.503 billion (2008)
Total equity Increase2.svg 4.502 billion (2008)
Number of employees
24,151 (2008)
Footnotes /references

Riva Forni Electrici S.p.A. is a major Italian steel producer. Riva is a privately held company, the whole shareholders' equity being held by the Riva family.



Early history

Riva Acciaio was founded in 1954 in Milan by Adriano and Emilio Riva as an iron scrap trading business. In 1957, the first Riva Acciaio mini-mill was built in Caronno Pertusella near Saronno. A few years later, this plant became the first steelworks in Italy to use continuous casting, [2] in partnership with steel plant engineer Danieli. In the 1960s, Riva expanded in Italy by purchasing smaller rivals.


Starting from the 1970s, Riva took part in the privatization process of the ailing European steel industry [3] by making further acquisitions in European countries such as [4]

In 1992, it acquired directly from the German Treuhandanstalt two important plants (Brandenburger Elektrostahlwerke and Henningsdorfer Elektrostahlwerke) in the former German Democratic Republic. [5]

In 1995, Riva Acciaio purchased the ILVA plant in Taranto from the Italian government, becoming one of the main European steel producers. [6]

Due to the important role played in the privatization of the European steel industry, Emilio Riva was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit by the King of Belgium (2000), the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2002) and the French Legion of Honour (2005). [7] Étienne Davignon, former European Commissioner and Vice-president of the European Commission, has defined Emilio Riva as “prophet of this dynamic and optimistic vision of private enterprise”, affirming that “steelmaking is not an industry like the others, and the Riva group is not an industrial group like the others”. [8]

Pollution at ILVA Taranto plant

On March 8, 2006, the Court of Cassation convicted Emilio Riva to 18 months granting conditional leniency, with regard to events occurred from December 1997 to November 1998 related to an attempted illegal coercion of some ILVA employees which Emilio Riva had been charged with others. [9]

On June 16, 2010, the Court of Cassation declared the extinction because of the statute of limitations of all the violations which Emilio Riva, among others, had been charged with, as to the events occurred from July 2000 to September 2002 related to the supposed violation of anti-pollution regulations in the management of the Ilva factory of Taranto. [10]

Pollution at Genoa plant

On January 19, 2009, the Court of Appeal of Genoa declared null and void the first instance's verdict related to the charge of pollution and declared the extinction because of the statute of limitations of the other minor charges which Emilio Riva and two of his sons had been charged with in the management of the Ilva factory of Genoa, with regard to events occurred from 1995 to 2002 related to the violation of anti-pollution regulations. [11]

Ilva scandal

On February 2, 2012, a report by Istituto Superiore di Sanità revealed extreme levels of air pollution and an abnormal incidence of cancer and cardiovascular diseases around the city of Taranto, where the ILVA giant steelworks are located. Following the report, Emilio Riva and his son Nicola, along with Taranto plant top managers, were arrested for allegedly causing an environmental disaster, and the plant was seized. [12] However, the resulting Ambiente Svenduto (Italian for "environment undersold") trial has been mostly inconclusive. Emilio Riva died in 2014, aged 87, [13] while his brother Adriano Riva, that succeeded Emilio at the top of the family business after the scandal, died in 2019, aged 88, [14] after having reached a €1.3 billion settlement with the Italian state. [15]

On 24 April 2018 another son of founder Emilio, Fabio Riva ex-deputy of Riva Group, was convicted for fraud and sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in jail. [16]

In May 2018 the Italian state, which had escheated ILVA by the ruckus, now sold the Taranto plant to ArcelorMittal for 1.8 billion. [17] Also included in the transaction were the Genoa steelworks and the Novi Ligure steelworks. [18]

On 31 May 2021 the former owners of the Ilva steelworks, Fabio and Nicola Riva, were sentenced to 22 and 20 years in jail respectively for allowing it to spew out deadly pollution. Several other people were also sentenced, including former President of Apulia Nichi Vendola to 3.5 years in prison. [19]

See also

Further reading

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  1. "RIVA FIRE 2008 Highlights" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  2. "OBITUARY: Emilio Riva | Metal". Retrieved 2020-12-18.
  3. See Stephan Moinov, Privatization in the iron and steel industry, International Labour Office, Geneva 1995, pp. 33-78.
  4. (2) M. Affinito, M. De Cecco, A. Dringoli, Le privatizzazioni dell’industria manifatturiera italiana, Roma 2000, pp. 83-84.
  6. "The ILVA Industrial Site in Taranto" (PDF). European Parliament. October 2015. p. 6.
  7. "Emilio Riva". Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  8. Étienne Davignon, Foreword to Riva 1954-1994, a cura di Margherita Balconi, Milan 1995, p. 2.
  9. Source: Decision n. 31413/2006 by the Court of Cassation on March 8th, 2006.
  10. Source: Decision n. 33170/2010 by the Court of Cassation on June 16th, 2010.
  11. Source: Decision n. 139/2009 by the Court of Appeal of Genoa on January 19th, 2009.
  12. Ciangalini, Giulia (4 November 2019). "La storia dell'acciaieria più grande d'Europa. Ecco l'Ilva dal 2012 a oggi". La Stampa . Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  13. Henry, David (1 May 2014). "Emilio Riva, Steel Billionaire in Pollution Scandal, Dies at 87". Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  14. Gianmario, Leone (6 July 2019). "E' morto Adriano Riva. La cassaforte di famiglia". Corriere di Taranto. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  15. Randacio, Emilio (24 May 2017). "Ilva, i Riva rinunciano 1,3 miliardi all'estero. Ok al patteggiamento". La Repubblica. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  16. "Ilva, Cassazione conferma la condanna per Fabio Riva: 6 anni e 3 mesi per associazione a delinquere e truffa". Il Fatto Quotidiano. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  17. Toplensky, Rochelle (7 May 2018). "ArcelorMittal gets EU greenlight to buy Italy's Ilva". Financial Times. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  18. FERRARI, GILDA; MORETTI CLEMENTI, ELOISA (9 December 2020). "Dalla famiglia Riva al patto Mittal-Invitalia: così lo Stato torna a produrre acciaio". GEDI Gruppo Editoriale. Il Secolo XIX.
  19. "Italy judge hands Riva brothers prison terms over Ilva pollution". Reuters. 31 May 2021.