Milan-based private-equity group Hyle Capital Partners has announced its investment in the potato gnocchi producer Ciemme Alimentari.
Financial details of the deal were not revealed but the transaction will allow Hyle to take on “a majority share” in the pasta business, according to a joint statement from both companies.
Hyle Capital Partners’ investment comes from its buyout fund, Finance for Food One fund, worth €130m ($142.7m) in total.
Commenting on the acquisition, Matteo Chieregato and Francesco Zito, managing partner and partner of Hyle Capital Partners, said the deal marked “Hyle’s first investment in southern Italy where we believe there are great opportunities to explore”.
Ciemme CEO Bartolomeo Palmieri will retain his leadership position in the company, the statement confirmed.
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The money is to be used to drive innovation in the business, as well as expand existing production lines and build new ones, the company said. It added that it also intends to use the funds to expand distribution, particularly in the US and Canada.
Bartolomeo Palmieri, CEO of Ciemme Alimentari, said in the statement: “We are very pleased to have found a strategic partner with whom to pursue an important growth project in order to become a reference point in our sector, both in Italy and abroad.
“We are convinced that Hyle, thanks to their expertise and network, will give us an additional push to achieve the growth goals we have set for ourselves.”
Ciemme’s portfolio includes a range of chilled, shelf-stable and frozen gnocchi products.
Its factory is based near Barletta in the Puglia region and consists of eight production lines, where around 105 people are employed.
According to its website, Ciemme distributes to 50 countries worldwide. Its primary foreign markets include Germany, France, the US and Canada.
For the 2023 financial year, the group said it expected to book annual turnover rates exceeding €40m, a 40% boost compared with 2022. It added it also predicted to record export shares 30% over its turnover for the period.