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November 2, 2021

La Doria agrees private-equity takeover

An investment company indirectly-owned by private-equity firm Investindustrial, is to initially acquire more than 60% of the Italian food group.

The owners of La Doria, the Italy-based food manufacturer, have announced a deal to sell the business.

Amalfi Holding, an investment company indirectly-owned by private-equity firm Investindustrial, is to buy just over 63.1% of the canned vegetables and pasta sauce maker. It then plans to acquire the remainder of the shares next year.

The deal comes a month after the publicly-listed La Doria revealed it was in talks with Investindustrial over investment.

La Doria says it expects to close the transaction by January. When completed, Amalfi Holding will launch a mandatory offer for the remaining shares in the business. After that, members of the Ferraioli family that own La Doria will then invest in Amalfi Holding and hold, between them 35%, of the investment company. A share investment plan will also be set up for La Doria’s management and staff.

Antonio Ferraioli, one of the current shareholders involved in the new investor deal and La Doria’s chairman, will be the manufacturer’s chief executive. He said: “This transaction is a great opportunity for the company and its employees, bringing about a new phase focused on further growth, both organically and through potential acquisitions.

“La Doria over the last 40 years has consistently grown, becoming a European leader in its market segments and the expected entry of Investindustrial is part of our development strategy and will allow the company to further expand its range of operations, becoming a platform for consolidation within its sector.”

Founded in 1954, La Doria generated revenues of EUR848m (US$982.2m) and EBIT of EUR64.8m in 2020. It booked net profits for the year of EUR56.7m.

Listed on the Star segment of the Italian stock exchange, the company says 97% of its revenues come from private-label retail clients in Italy and overseas.

La Doria produces branded products under its own name and also Cook Italia, La Romanella, Althea and Bella Parma. It operates six factories located in Angri, Faenza, Fisciano, Sink, Parma and Sarno.

Investindustrial’s portfolio includes Natra, the Spain-based chocolate maker it acquired in 2019. Last year, Investindustrial also bought bakery-ingredients business CSM Ingredients.

Andrea Bonomi, chairman of the industrial advisory board at Investindustrial, said La Doria was “the perfect synthesis” of the firm’s preferred type of investments – “mid-sized family businesses in a strategic and fast-growing sector, such as food, where Italy demonstrates global excellence and in which Investindustrial can play a leading role with a particular focus on sustainability, an area which has been always central to our thinking”.

Bonomi added: “We wish to support La Doria through a shared growth project which will develop over the years and a major investment which will further consolidate its leadership in the food and beverage sector, in addition to boosting the enterprise’s international positioning through the penetration of new markets and distribution channels.”

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