CEO Antonio Hernandez Callejas said the deal will allow Ebro to introduce Risos products to new markets

CEO Antonio Hernandez Callejas said the deal will allow Ebro to introduce Riso's products to new markets

Ebro Foods plans to launch the products of Italian rice producer Riso Scotti, in which it has bought a 25% stake, into new markets, including the US.

Riso Scotti produces lines including rice and soybean milk, rice biscuits, rice oils and ready meals for the premium market.

Chairman and CEO Antonio Hernandez Callejas told just-food the deal will allow Ebro to introduce Riso Scotti's products to new markets.

"We are considering introducing the premium Italian food concepts in some relevant markets such as the US, France and Spain."

Ebro is a global operator producing pasta, rice, sauce and frozen foods for European, US, Asian and African markets. 

The deal comes almost a year after Callejas told just-food it would look to make further acquisitions and expand its geographic reach. At the time he said Ebro had room to grow in geographies beyond its two biggest markets of Europe and North America. This, he said, may be done through acquisitions, adding that the company was eyeing a number of South American companies, with a particular interest in Brazil and Mexico.

The chief executive, however, said today: "For the time being we are not looking to South America."

As part of the Riso Scotti deal, Callejas said Ebro has a "strategic agreement for searching for synergies between the two groups within a wide scope of activities such as purchases, technologies, sales to subsidiaries, etc". He did not expand further.