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The owners of Dolciaria Acquaviva, an Italian company which specialises in frozen baked goods, have sold a majority stake in the business to Belgian private-equity firm Ergon Capital Partners. 

The private-equity house bought the stake from the company’s founding Aquaviva family for an undisclosed amount.

Pierluigi, Giuseppe and Marco Acquaviva will reinvest alongside Ergon in the transaction.

Founded in 1979, Caserta-based Acquaviva has a product portfolio of some 560 sweet and savoury items and serves more than 20,000 customers in its home market, mostly hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Its plant has three production lines. The third, operational since early 2019, has more than doubled the production capacity of butter- and margarine-based croissants. 

Ergon said the family was searching for a partner that could accelerate its growth strategy and shared its management’s values, vision and strategy. 

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Pierluigi Acquaviva, who will remain CEO of Dolciaria Acquaviva, said: “This partnership creates opportunities to accelerate the company’s growth trajectory. In Ergon, we found the best partner to write a new chapter in our family business that has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

“I’m convinced that through its experience, expertise, extensive network and financial means, Ergon will enable us to further accelerate the company’s growth, also through acquisitions in a highly fragmented market.”

Emanuele Lembo, managing partner at Ergon, said: “We are enthusiastic to support Pierluigi and Dolciaria Acquaviva in their ambitious growth plans. Ergon’s pan-European presence and strong entrepreneurial approach match perfectly with the company’s needs.”

“Furthermore, our strong track-record in executing bolt-on acquisitions will allow Dolciaria Acquaviva to accelerate growth also through buy-and-build, in line with the family’s ambitions.”

In June Ergon acquired Paris-based food company Haudecoeur, which specialises in produce from the Middle East, Asia and Africa.