Ferrero Group has bought Italian frozen-pastry producer Fresystem for an undisclosed sum.

The confectionery giant said the acquisition was part of its growth strategy and the sweet meals segment had high potential.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A Ferrero spokesperson told Just Food that it did not plan to make changes to staff at Fresystem or the structure of the business.

They added: “Our primary intention is to invest in the acquired business, capitalise on exciting new growth opportunities for Fresystem and make the integration process as seamless as possible.”

On why it had purchased the company, the spokesperson said: “Ferrero has successfully partnered with Fresystem for several years and this acquisition represents a natural next step to support Ferrero’s strategic growth ambitions in the frozen bakery category.

“Ferrero and Fresystem are family companies with humble entrepreneurial roots, so this is a perfect fit.”

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Fresystem, which has a factory in Naples, produces and distributes frozen-croissant brand Cupiello and manufactures pastries for third parties.

The company was founded in 1983 and acquired by the Simioli family in 1991. It had a EUR60m (US$65m) turnover in 2021.

Ferrero now has two production centres in the south-western Italian region of Campania, as Fresystem’s site near Naples joins the existing one in Avellino.

“The operation consolidates the position of Ferrero in Italy, which remains a strategic hub for the group both in production and market terms,” Ferrero said in a statement.

The deal is subject to closing conditions and is expected to close within the next few months.

The transaction is the first Ferrero has announced since it expanded its ice-cream assets with the acquisition of US manufacturer Wells Enterprises in December. Executive chairman Giovanni Ferrero said at the time: “This represents a win-win partnership, bringing together ice-cream experts and confectionery champions.”

The Ferrero Rocher maker also made headlines last year after it was forced to close a plant in Belgium following a salmonella outbreak.

Ferrero was ordered to suspend operations at the Arlon plant in Belgium on 8 April after the site was identified as the source of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium. Hundreds of cases were reported worldwide from the consumption of the privately-owned Italian firm’s Kinder chocolate products.

It regained the full production licence for the facility in September following inspections by Belgium’s food-safety body, the AFSCA.

In a statement, AFSCA told Just Food it would “continue to follow Ferrero closely with additional inspections during a specified period”.

Ferrero said: “We have learned a lot during this period and have quickly put these learnings into practice.”

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