Bright Food invests in Italian olive oil maker Salov, owner of Filippo Berio brand

Bright Food invests in Italian olive oil maker Salov, owner of Filippo Berio brand

Bright Food Group has acquired a "majority" stake in Italian olive oil manufacturer Salov Group from the founding Fontana family.

Salov manufactures the Sagra and Filippo Berio brands. Head-quartered in Tuscany, the olive oil maker exports to more than 60 countries worldwide and generates annual revenues of approximately EUR330m (US$417.7m).

In a statement, Bright said it plans to grow the business by "leveraging the growth opportunities in the Chinese market". 

According to data from the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce, the amount of olive oil China imports has jumped in recent years. Total olive oil imports rose to 43,400 metric tonnes in 2013, up from 14,700 metric tonnes four years earlier in 2009.

The Chinese company added: "Bright Food will assist Salov enhance its production and sales volume."

Bright did not provide details on the size of the stake taken or the purchase price.

The acquisition is part of Bright's "internationalisation" drive, the company suggested. State-owned Bright has snapped up a number of overseas businesses in recent years, including UK cereal maker Weetabix and Australia's Manessen Foods.

In May, the company also agreed to purchase a 56% stake in Israeli dairy Tnuva Food Industries from UK private equity firm Apax Partners. According to a regulatory filing earlier in the week, Bright has extended the deadline for completion by three months until 5 January. Details of why completion - originally scheduled for 5 October - is being held up were not released.