Granarolo, the Italy-based dairy group, has attracted investment from the country’s state lender, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), to help the business grow in international markets.

CDP has put EUR15m (US$13.2m) into Granarolo through a raising of capital at France-based subsidiary Granarolo France SAS. The lender now owns 30% of Granarolo France SAS.

Granarolo said it plans to use the investment to support its plans to grow further in France and in “neighbouring markets”.

“The increase in the capital of Granarolo France will help finance the 2016-2019 development plan we are implementing,” Granarolo chairman Gianpiero Calzolari said. “France and neighbouring countries are important markets, for which we are planning in parallel the launch of a vast basket of Made in Italy products and innovative products that meet the specific needs of new target consumers.”

Last year, CDP was one of two subscribers to a EUR60m bond also issued by Granarolo to fund its expansion plans.

France has been a major part of Granarolo’s geographic expansion since the company decided around the turn of the decade to try to become more international. Its first international acquisition was in France, with the purchase of cheese maker CIPF Codipal in 2013.

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By GlobalData

Granarolo has two production plants in France, both manufacturing cheese.

Granarolo’s group sales reached EUR1.18bn in 2016, up 10% on 2015. Three-quarters of Granarolo’s sales were generated in Italy but that compares to 96% in 2011. 

In 2016, the company’s EBIT stood at EUR42m, a 42% jump on a year earlier. Its net profit was EUR23m, 28% higher than the previous year.

Granarolo, which is majority controlled by the Granlatte cooperative, has yet to announce 2017 figures.