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BC Partners to sell Forno d’Asolo Group

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LONDON, UK – 5 February 2024: BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, today announced that it has agreed to sell Forno d'Asolo Group (“FdA Group”), the Italy-headquartered best-in-class international manufacturer and distributor of frozen bakery products, to a consortium between Investindustrial and the Bagnoli family owned Sammontana, the first Italian gelato company.

BC Partners invested in FdA Group in 2018, and during BC Partners’ ownership and in partnership with the FdA Group management team, transformed the business into a national champion in frozen bakery and patisserie products. BC Partners oversaw growth initiatives including the unlocking of significant commercial and operational enhancements, completion of FdA Group’s product offering, diversification of sales channels, and expansion into new international markets such as the U.S., Germany and France.

BC Partners’ long and successful history of working with families and founders proved instrumental in achieving FdA Group’s growth plan. Within two years of the initial investment, BC Partners finalised four strategic add-on acquisitions, all bilaterally sourced from local Italian entrepreneurs, including the transformational acquisition of Milan-based Bindi, an icon of the Italian patisserie market with over 80 years of history, from the founding family.

Led by a strengthened and professionalised management team, FdA Group successfully withstood the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and demonstrated impressive growth in the following years, both organically and via further international M&A. FdA Group generated approximately €500 million of sales and more than €85 million of EBITDA in 2023, having almost quadrupled in size since BC Partners’ original investment.

Stefano Ferraresi, Partner at BC Partners, said: “We are proud to have worked with CEO Alessandro Angelon and the rest of the Forno D’Asolo management team over the last five years. Together we have taken the company from strength to strength, transforming an Italian jewel into a unique global player and ambassador for Italian artisanship. Leveraging our experience of actively investing in Italy for almost four decades and our proven track record of successfully investing in the food sector, we have helped develop a leading international business that is strongly positioned for future growth.”

Alessandro Angelon, CEO of FdA Group, said: “On behalf of the Forno d’Asolo team, I would like to thank BC Partners for their support over the last five years. BC Partners are a highly reputable investor in the Italian market, given their deep expertise in the food sector and long track record of helping Italian businesses to grow and expand internationally. When I got to know their team in 2018, I immediately realised that they would be the ideal partner to help drive our company to new heights. BC Partners have been instrumental in creating a truly global industry player, and now we can look forward with confidence to continuing our strong growth journey with our new partners.”

Marco Castelli, Head of Consumer at BC Partners, said: “FdA Group is a perfect example of the investments BC Partners looks for in the Consumer space, thanks to the staple nature of its products, the deep loyalty of its customers, its market position and its unique distribution platform. The Group enjoys tremendous consolidation potential in some of the largest frozen bakery markets globally and we are confident of its continued success.”

BC Partners has been investing successfully in Italy for nearly 40 years. BC Partners’ current portfolio in Italy includes Fedrigoni, a leading global producer of self-adhesive labels and fibre-based packaging products, and Cigierre, a leader in Italian casual dining. Notable past investments in Italy by BC Partners include, among others, IMA, a world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic packaging machines, and Galbani, a leading cheese producer.

Rothschild and UniCredit acted as financial advisors for the sale. Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor. PwC provided accounting advice and Studio Facchini Rossi Michelutti provided tax advice.