giovedì 5 giugno 2014

Spanish food giant Ebro buys 52% of Garofalo premium pasta

Sparks outcry on foreign encroachment on Italian food brands

(ANSA) - Rome, June 4 - Italian premium pasta maker Pastificio Lucio Garofalo announced Wednesday it signed a preliminary agreement to sell a majority 52% stake to the listed, Spanish multinational Ebro Foods for a total investment of 62 million euros. Ebro Foods is active in the rice, pasta, and condiment sectors, and quoted on the Madrid stock exchange. Garofalo called Ebro Foods an industrial partner with a solid background with which to grow on the basis of a common vision that will "preserve the identity of the company and the product, which owe their distinctive and differentiating traits to the leadership, the workers, as well as the production site".

News of the deal sparked immediate outcry from Italian agrifood association Coldiretti as the latest in a growing tide of encroachment on Italian food producers. "With the sale of Garofalo pasta, the Spanish have exceeded 10 billion euros worth of historic Italian agrifood brands that have passed into foreigners' hands since the beginning of the (financial) crisis," said Coldiretti President Roberto Moncalvo, speaking to roughly 10,000 farmers gathered at a meeting near Florence. "We are facing an escalation of the Spanish presence in Italy with the passage of 25% of Riso Scotti (Italian rice) into the hands of the same Spanish food multinational Ebro Food after Barcellona's Gruppo Agroalimen rose to 75 % of ownership in Star (Italian boullion producer)," Moncalvo continued.

Moncalvi complained that Italy's Fiorucci hams had also been bought by Spanish meats group Campofrio.. Garofalo pasta Chief Executive Massimo Menna countered that the Ebro takeover "represents value for the Italian System and should not be read as a 'piece of Italy that is going away'". "Our company is healthy and strong, and this has put us in an optimal position to seize the best opportunities for growth," Menna said.

"We chose Garofalo for the quality of its product, for the excellent results it has achieved over time and for its people who, in the last 15 years in particular, have enabled to give life to an extraordinary story and with whom we have found a perfect personal and professional understanding," said Ebro Foods Chief Executive Antonio Hernandez Callejas. Pasta Garofalo has over 100 years of history. The Menna family have been shareholders since 1952, and gained control of the company in 1997. Pasta Garofalo has concentrated on the premium segment since 2002, and has risen from a turnover of 30 million euros in 2002 to more than 134 million in 2013. 

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento