Opportunities in the Italian Food & Agribusiness sector

Interview with Francesco Orazi from Unigrains Développement.

Unigrains Group is a leading, specialised European agribusiness investor with more than 50 years’ experience.

Fondo Agroalimentare Italian I is a €M 50 private equity fund focused on the Italian agri-food sector.

 

 

The Food & Agribusiness (F&A) industry in Italy is a diverse and resilient sector.

  • It is a sizeable market: with revenues of € 135 billion in 2015, the Italian F&A market is #3 in Europe, benefiting from both a large domestic base of 61 million inhabitants and increasing success abroad
  • It is a growing market: up 17% since 2007, despite a challenging macroeconomic environment
  • It’s an export oriented market: more than 36 billion sales abroad and a € 12.5 billion surplus, driven by a strong international culture in Italian companies and globally renowned flagship products
  • It’s a diverse market: with more than 7 000 F&A SMEs often leaders in their niches, in addition to large recognized groups

Investors in the market benefit from the strong reputation Italian products built on a rich gastronomic heritage, a large range of traditional and diversified products and the support and recognized, official quality labels.

These are just some of strong fundamentals and differentiating factors in support of the market opportunity for investing in Italian F&A companies.

 

Dedicated to the F&A sector, Fondo Agroalimentaire Italiano I is an Italian based fund with international mindset and reach.

FAI’s dedicate investment team has a strong track record and proven capacity to source and structure proprietary transactions, covering all market segments from processing and distribution, machinery, retail and all related services.

As the preferred specialized partner for entrepreneurs, the fund will take minority stakes in growth capital transactions and in majority buy-out transactions, in partnership with other institutional or private investors, where it can contribute its specific industry expertise.

The investment strategy will focus on companies operating in Italy with sales between €M 10 and €M 150, when the fund could invest tickets between €M 3 and €M 7.

Our targeted investment thesis aims to create value through a combination of the following strategies:

  • Organic Growth: financing development such as productivity investments and the opening of new business lines
  • Consolidation: fostering sector consolidation, rationalization and integration across the value chain
  • Internationalization: supporting expansion into international markets and implementing international growth strategies
  • Shareholder reorganization: playing a major role in the generational changes in family owned companies

 

Fondo Agroalimentare Italiano is sponsored by Unigrains, a leading European investor, dedicated to the F&A sector, which manages nearly 2 billion euros in assets.

In addition to a significant financial commitment, providing roughly half of the fund’s target capital, Unigrains has mobilized significant resources to ensure its success.

Some of these resources include the support of a dedicated 7 person research team, dedicated to covering F&A topics across Europe and the world. An extensive network of contacts developed through 53 years of activity and supporting more than 1 000 companies in the sector

The commitment and full support of Unigrains to FAI I provides significant added value and stability, ensuring best-practice procedures and strong governance.

 

Additionally, investors benefit from high visibility as the first investment of the fund has already been completed, in Trasporti Romagna.

A company with strong growth perspectives, operating in logistics and transportation services for food companies and large distributors; Trasporti has sales of over €M 110 and since completion of the investment, has already completed one build-up and is working on another.

A second investment is expected to be completed in the coming month, sourced by the Team, is focused on a build-up and consolidation strategy in a segment of frozen food industry. Additional opportunities are currently under active review.

This visibility enables investors to see our investment strategy at work and the added value that we bring to developing the growth of Italian F&A companies.

 

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