Italy-based ice-cream manufacturer Sammontana is set to merge with frozen baked goods company Forno d’Asolo.
The Bagnoli family, founders of Sammontana, have partnered with investment management group Investindustrial to buy Forno d’Asolo from private-equity firm BC Partners.
The family, Investindustrial and the management team will own 100% of the new group.
Leonardo Bagnoli, CEO of Sammontana, will be appointed as chairman, while Alessandro Angelon, currently at the helm of Forno d’Asolo, will become chief executive of the combined businesses.
A statement from Investindustrial mentioned the “attractive growth potential” of Forno d’Asolo as a reason for the merger, as well as Sammontana’s “expertise in the gelato and frozen pastries industries”.
The combined group will have around €1bn ($1.08bn) in revenues, according to the statement, with production facilities across Italy, the US and France. With more than 2,500 employees, it will operate across multiple channels, selling frozen pastry, dessert and gelato products to bars, restaurants, hotels, food retailers and catering companies.
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Bagnoli said: “Investindustrial has clearly demonstrated its ability to take Italian-headquartered businesses and grow them internationally and sustainably while maintaining respect for their culture and heritage. We are looking forward to them repeating this success in partnership with us. I am also proud to announce that the new group will rely on a complementary first-class management team, benefitting from the contribution of the two companies.”
Sammontana, founded in 1946, operates three production plants in Italy and has around 1,000 employees, as well as a network of over 200 dealers and distributors.
Angelon said: “Together we have identified the significant potential to grow the combined group, given both Sammontana and Forno d’Asolo’s highly regarded brands and products, and the opportunity for geographic expansion. Both shareholders are extremely well-positioned to support our next phase of growth, and we are looking forward to the exciting opportunities available in the coming years.”
Forno d’Asolo, which sits under the umbrella company Fda Group, has been owned by BC Partners since 2018, when it was bought from Italian investment fund 21 Partners.
Established in 1985 and headquartered in Treviso, Forno d’Asolo manufactures and distributes frozen products including sweet pastries, patisserie and savoury baked products. The business sells its products – including the brands Forno d’Asolo and Bindi – through on-premise outlets with over 70,000 customers in 40 countries worldwide.
Andrea Bonomi, chairman of the Investindustrial Industrial advisory board, added: “Both businesses have completed several add-on acquisitions in recent years, providing a strong platform for the Bagnoli family and Investindustrial to pursue a buy and build strategy to further internationalise the combined group, especially in the US market.”
Last November, a Flemish newspaper reported that Belgium-based Vandemoortele was eyeing up Forno d’Asolo, but the company remained coy.