Urbis Food, a seafood supplier in Italy, has received an undisclosed investment from private-equity fund Fondo Agroalimentaire Italiano.

The fund, which is owned by French agri-food investor Unigrains through its Italian arm, said it has an “ambitious growth” plan for Urbis Food, including doubling sales over the next five years.

Urbis Food, set up by the Longhi family in 2016, posted sales last year of €30m ($32.3m). Based in the Urbisaglia commune in the province of Macerata, the company supplies retailers across Italy and also distributors. The business, which owns the GiorgioMare brand, is run by founder Giorgio Longhi and his two sons Andrea and Stefano.

Longhi senior said in a statement: “We grew very rapidly in the last few years, reaping many rewards. We have now decided to be assisted by a specialised financial actor in order to achieve our goal of becoming a national and international point of reference in the frozen and quick-frozen seafood industry.”

Employing 60 people, Urbis Food said it plans to add to its management team and “explore new potential growth and expansion opportunities in a dynamic but fragmented market”. The company will also invest in expanding its manufacturing facilities.

With the Urbis Food cash injection, Fondo Agroalimentaire Italiano said it has now completed its €50m investment target since the fund’s inception in 2018.

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Meanwhile, Unigrains newly formed Italian unit – Unigrains Italia – has set out an investment programme for the country of €80-100m in the next five years.

A deal was announced last week as Unigrains Italia became the largest investor in Vivaldi Group, a new business set up and comprising four separate bakery and ingredients companies – CPC Food, Eurodolce, Marper and Nuova-Nue Serpan.

The family-owned companies have become shareholders of Vivaldi Group, investing “significantly” to form the majority ownership.

Francesco Orazi, who heads up Fondo Agroalimentare Italiano, said: “We have long observed the seafood and retail industry and discern significant growth in the coming years, notably in the high-end segment.

“We are delighted to support a successful entrepreneur such as Giorgio Longhi, with whom I am sure we will be able to achieve great results. The aim is to help him and his team consolidate the market and develop industrial synergies to fuel future growth.”

Just Food has approached Unigrains Italia for more details on the investment and the growth plans for Urbis Food.