Spanish food company Importaco has agreed to buy a 51% stake in Italian firm Besana, in an effort to create a European leader in natural food products.
The deal aims to enable greater international reach and specialisation in the nuts and dried fruit market, creating a company with an annual turnover of €770 million.
Founded in 1940, Importaco’s two main lines of business are nuts and natural drinks. The company distributes to the retail segment in the Spanish market and operates in the agro-food industry ingredients markets and foodservice market.
Meanwhile, Besana was established in 1921 and specialises in nuts, dried fruit, seeds and chocolate. The Italian firm mainly distributes to the retail segment and has a strong presence in several European countries.
The combination of Importaco and Besana will reportedly consolidate the merger’s international presence, reinforcing its position in Europe with presence in markets including Spain, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland and Scandinavia.
Following the merger, the groups will have access to 17 factories across five countries, increased production capacity, larger supply and complementary distribution channels that strengthen business in the retail and ingredients markets.
“Through this transaction, we are consolidating our sustainable growth project based on quality and innovation, and leveraging our internationalisation and specialisation in natural products and healthy foodstuffs,” said Toño Pons, president of Importaco.
He added: “We are creating a strong group with a solid competitive position, both in Spain and in other European markets, with a high growth potential.”
Pino Calcagni, president of Besana, said: “In the current scenario, the globalisation of new markets and the development of synergies to improve economies of scale are becoming key commercial factors. The Importaco Group is the ideal strategic partner to achieve these objectives and create value throughout the supply chain.”
Following the integration of the family-owned companies, Pons will become chairman of the new group. The merger is expected to be completed in October 2020 following regulatory requirements.
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