CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that Gruppo Fanti, a metal packaging manufacturing company headquartered in Bologna, Italy, will open its first U.S.-based plant in Weirton. The new plant will initially create 40 new full-time jobs and Gruppo Fanti plans to invest $30 million into the Brooke County operation.
“I love when we have firsts in West Virginia, and I’m really proud that Fanti Group has chosen to make West Virginia the home of their first manufacturing plant in America,” Gov. Justice said. “Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts, from all of us in West Virginia. This is so meaningful to our state. We want you to make this your home in the United States and we want to be able to grow with you and help you in every way we possibly can.”
Fanti Group is an Italian industrial group, founded in 1948, specializing in packaging, owned by the Fanti family. The group has an aggregate revenue of 120 million euro, operates several plants in Italy along with several production and commercial entities in Europe, Russia, and Africa that manufacture more than 100 million metal cans every year.
“My father Giorgio Fanti, founder of Fanti Group, visited this area in the United States for the first time in the 70’s to see how U.S. manufacturers worked and to see if it was possible to buy some steel,” said Stefano Fanti, Chairman of Fanti Packaging. “I was a kid at that time, but I still remember when he left home ‘per l’America’ and when he returned to Italy after a long business trip bringing lots of ‘strange’ presents and toys. Now, after 50 years, I am glad to achieve my father’s American dream by starting a production plant in the United States. Our U.S. entity will be established in Weirton, West Virginia, and it will be legally owned by our main company located in Bologna, Italy, that has the name of my father.”
West Virginia was one of three states in consideration for the company’s expansion into the United States.
“Fanti USA will be the largest expansion in the history of the Fanti Group,” said Nicola De Santis – CFO, M&A, Business Development, Board Member of Fanti Group. “In West Virginia, we found the right place to expand. We studied the market, the supply chain, and the potential locations intensively. We traveled extensively before the COVID limitations and met a lot of people across the United States. Here in West Virginia we plan to initially create 20 jobs and to grow to 40-50 jobs after 3-4 years. One of the main reasons we have chosen West Virginia is because of the great support from the Governor’s Office and the West Virginia Development Office. Their great assistance to develop our project made our decision easy.”
Gruppo Fanti’s leadership team visited West Virginia in early 2019 as part of their due diligence in finding their U.S. expansion site.
“While we competed with Pennsylvania and Ohio for this new plant, our state’s pro-business climate, made possible by the business experience and incredible leadership of Governor Justice, along with our manufacturing base and an incredible workforce helped us prevail in the end,” said West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Ed Gaunch.
“Weirton has a long history with manufacturing,” said West Virginia State Senator Ryan Weld. “The loss of Weirton Steel was obviously a huge blow to the area. But since then, Weirton has been adding bricks to the wall of Weirton’s comeback and Weirton’s future: Pietro Fiorentini, Bidell, and now Fanti Group.
“I’d like to think everybody’s leadership for coming together and putting this new brick in place.”
The company is modifying an existing site in Weirton and plans to start production in Q2 of 2022.
“West Virginia, and particularly the Northern Panhandle, is noted for its industrial background, cooperative spirit, and dedication to get things done. Gruppo Fanti’s decision to locate their new plant in Weirton is the result of those traits,” said Marvin Six, executive director of the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle. “We worked closely with the West Virginia Development Office, State Auditor’s office, and the Brooke County Commission over the last eight months to demonstrate our strengths. Gruppo Fanti’s investment in our area illustrates the confidence international companies have locating their plants here.”
“This is nothing but a giant team effort,” Gov. Justice said. “You’ll find that West Virginia is really, really on the move and West Virginia has now become the diamond in the rough that everybody missed.
“The biggest thing that I need to do is in someway convey to you our level of appreciation and our level of support,” Gov. Justice continued. “We will always be there for you, and I believe we’re going to have an incredible relationship.”