Investment firm CVC Capital Partners is reportedly reconsidering the sale of its majority stake in Spanish olive oil major Deoleo after buyer interest waned.
According to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, the sharp rise in the price of olive oil has contributed to the withdrawal of potential buyers.
Dcoop, Borges and Acesur, which already owns 5% of Deoleo, were all tipped to make an offer for the business when it was reported in June that London- and Luxembourg-based CVC had hired financial advisory firm Lazard to assist with the sale of its 57% share in the Madrid-listed oil business.
Now, according to El Confidencial, quoting “sources close to the Luxembourg venture capital fund”, the process has been “paralysed” for the moment after preliminary talks with Dcoop and Borges came to nothing.
Deoleo owns olive oil brands such as Carbonell, Koipe and Bertolli.
In 2022, it recorded EBIT of €25.3m ($26.8m) and net profit of €6.2m, the latter being 90% less than the previous year’s €61.3m. The company’s revenue stood at €827m, up from €703m in 2021.
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In commentary accompanying those results, Deoleo said the year was marked by “the relentless rise in the price of olive oil at source, which accelerated in the second half of the year to more than 66% and led to a generalised fall in consumption in the category”.
It added: “This impact was compounded by rising energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine, tensions in the supply chain, inflation and rising interest rates.”
Just Food has contacted CVC seeking confirmation of El Confidencial’s story.