French charcuterie and ready meals specialist Fleury Michon and its Italian counterpart Beretta have signed a draft deal to buy 80% of Fres.co, an Italian fresh deli firm.

The deal to buy Fres.co has been struck through Piatti Freschi Italia (PFI), the venture between Fleury Michon and Beretta.

Fleury Michon, which described Fres.co as “Italy’s leading fresh deli products supplier” and said the company had a market share of 20%, said the acquisition formed part of its international development strategy. It expects to complete the deal by the end of June.

The stake is being acquired from private shareholders, including Fres.co’s current CEO, who will retain 20% of the capital, a Fleury Michon official told just-food today (6 April). He declined to comment on the value of the transaction.

Fres.co employs over 400 staff, posted a 2010 tunover of around EUR84m (US$120m) and has an annual output of 17,000 tonnes.

Based in Milan and set up by Fleury Michon and Beretta in 2001, PFI specialises in fresh ready meals which are sold from supermarket outlets. Its 2010 turnover totalled EUR8.8m.