Italy-based baked goods company Morato Group has acquired a majority of local gluten-free pasta and biscuits maker Massimo Zero.

Details of the transaction have not been revealed.

Morato’s investment in Massimo Zero means it now takes over as the major shareholder from the private holding group Botzen Invest Euregio Finance, which has invested in the group since 2021.

The Roberto wraps maker will now have a 51% share in Massimo Zero, while the private holding group holds a 45% stake.

Botzen Invest has held a majority stake in the gluten-free gnocchi group since 2021.

Morato’s gluten-free arm Nt Food will take hold of the “strategic management and commercial strategy” at Massimo Zero, according to a company statement.

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By GlobalData

The group, based in the Veneto region, acquired Nt Food in 2022. It is still led by its founders Nicoletta and Giovanna Del Carlo.

Following the acquisition, Morato will own five gluten-free factories in Italy. In addition to Massimo Zero’s plant in the northern region of Alto Adigeo, the other four facilities are situated in Parma, Bagnacavallo and Altopascio.

The company owns 21 production facilities in total, with 16 in Italy, five in Spain and one in France.  

In January 2023, Morato bought a production facility in France from Italian pasta giant Barilla.

Working in both business-to-business and private label, the group develops a range of wraps, breadsticks, bruschettas and sliced bread products under the Morato, Roberto and NutriFree brand names.

Speaking on the news, Stefano Maza, CEO of Morato Group said: “We are very satisfied to have completed this operation which will allow us to further consolidate our presence in the gluten-free market with a brand that is synonymous with quality and excellence and which completes our offer to specialized channels.

“The health segment is showing an interesting growth trend and today our group, with five factories dedicated exclusively to gluten-free, confirms itself as a reality of reference capable of responding with competence and specialisation to consumer requests and partner.”

Massimo Zero produces a range of gluten-free pastas and breadcrumbs. In 2018, it added to its portfolio with a range of gluten-free Italian biscuits.

Nicoletta Del Carlo, general manager at Nt Food added: “This new operation confirms the group’s desire to consolidate its position in the field of free from food and the trust placed in Nt Food and its people, which we certainly welcome wholeheartedly enthusiasm and proactivity.

“Massimo Zero is a brand that has been able to build a unique relationship with its consumers, choosing the path of quality and consistency. We cannot help but find ourselves aligned with this vision and we are certain that significant synergies in terms of innovation can arise from the meeting of our realities product, process and distribution”