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May 30, 2019updated 29 Apr 2022 1:03pm

Lactalis confirms Nuova Castelli acquisition

French dairy giant Lactalis has confirmed it has acquired a European cheese maker, a deal first mooted last week.

By Andy Coyne

French dairy giant Lactalis has confirmed it has acquired Italian cheese maker Nuova Castelli, majority-owned by UK-based private-equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners.

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In a Tweet today (30 May), Lactalis said: “We pursue our development in Italy with the signature of an agreement for the acquisition of Nuova Castelli, company specialising in production and distribution of dairy products in the Italian tradition, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and Gorgonzola.”

just-food reported last Thursday (23 May) there were claims in the Italian press Lactalis was the frontrunner in the race to acquire the Parmesan cheese business but faced competition from Italian peer Granarolo and private-equity groups.

Now Lactalis has announced it has acquired Nuova Castelli. When the deal was first mooted it was opposed by Italy’s main agricultural union Coldiretti. It said the move would “strengthen the French hegemony by putting its hands on the best-selling Italian products with a designation of origin (DOP), from Parmigiano Reggiano to Grana Padano, up to Gorgonzola, Taleggio, and buffalo mozzarella. and Pecorino Toscano”.

Nuova Castelli, based in Reggio Emilia, exports Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to markets including the UK, Germany, Russia and France.

It has 1,000 employees in plants in Italy and abroad. In 2018 the company had a turnover of EUR460m (US$512.6m).

Charterhouse Capital Partners said Nuova Castelli has “approximately” 20 factories. The private-equity firm acquired Nuova Castelli in 2014. In its own statement announcing the sale to Lactalis, Charterhouse Capital Partners said: “Under Charterhouse’s ownership, Nuova Castelli has grown its international footprint, established new relationships with important retailers and experienced further growth, including the acquisition of Alival in Italy, North Coast in Poland and Empire Speciality Cheese in the USA.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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IPO activity all but stopped in 2020, as the investment community grew wary of the effects of COVID-19 on economies. No matter how deserving a business was of flotation, momentum was halted by concerns of when a ‘new normal’ of working patterns and trade would set in. Recently, sentiment has changed. Flotations picked up again during the second half of 2021, and now in 2022 the mood is decidedly optimistic. Business leaders have their eyes on fast rebounding economies, buoyant market indices and the opportunity once again to take their businesses public. As a result, global IPOs are expected to hit back this year. With GlobalData’s new whitepaper, ‘IPOs in Consumer and Retail: 5 must-include elements for your prospectus industry report’, you can explore exactly what is needed in the essential literature. GlobalData’s focus lies in the critical areas to get right:
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