Italian bakery company Europan Sud has been acquired by Milan-based investment group AVM Gestioni and European asset management group Amundi for an unknown sum.

The deal was lodged through a leveraged buyout with the Barbaro family, who founded the company in 1974.

Both investors are said to have acquired the baking business through an undisclosed holding company.

AVM Gestioni’s investment came via its Italian Fine Food arm, while Amundi invested through the Amundi ELTIF AgrItaly PIR fund.

As part of the deal, the Barbaro family will reinvest in the company and maintain 30% of shares.

Giancarlo Barbaro, CEO of Europan Sud, said: “The new partnership of which we are extremely proud and confident, will give the right push for the development and innovation of our products while remaining faithful to the fundamental values that have always distinguished our brand: freshness , genuineness and all-Italian craftsmanship”.

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By GlobalData

Europan Sud produces pre-cooked bread and bread products from raw Italian ingredients. Sourdough is used in all of its production lines and it also manufactures nutraceutical-enriched breads.

Some 54 employees work at its headquarters and factory, based in Taranto, Puglia.

The company distributes its products to a large number of catering groups, including Pellegrini, Ladisa, Marr and Sodexo.

Europan Sud told Just Food that its “entirely natural process” of bread production enables it to also supply the retail and catering channels in southern Italy and Sardinia.

The group said it will guarantee business continuity by keeping the fourth generation of the Barbaro family in top executive roles – Giancarlo Barbaro will remain as CEO, supported by his nephew Mario Barbaro, while Cosimo Barbaro will stay on as production director.

Speaking on its future plans post-investment, the company said that it hopes expand further in Italy and globally “while maintaining collaborations with select university research centres to further develop and broaden our range of health and nutraceutical products”.

Giovanna Dossena, principal and co-founder of AVM Gestioni, said in a statement: “We strongly believe in the potential of Europan and its ability to become a point of reference at a national level in the baking industry.”

She added: “The attention to the nutraceutical aspects and protein qualities of the products represented a key element for us, given that Italian Fine Food was created to invest in excellent, quality Made in Italy companies”.

Europan Sud recorded an annual turnover of €10.6m ($11.2m) in 2022, up by around 25% year on year. It said it expects total sales to hit over €13m in 2023.

Stefano Filippini, partner at AVM Gestioni, who followed the acquisition process, said: “With the investment of the Italian Fine Food Fund, accompanied by the co-investment of Amundi SGR, the acquired company will be able to accelerate its growth path, which may also take place through future acquisition operations, strengthening its market positioning.”