Milan, August 2nd, 2021
Fondo Agroalimentare Italiano I ("FAI") and Azimut Libera Impresa SGR S.p.A. ("ALI"), a Gruppo Azimut subsidiary acting on behalf of the AZ Eltif Ophelia Fund, have signed a binding agreement for the acquisition of a majority stake in Gruppo Albert, a leading Italian manufacturer of semi-finished and finished products for ice cream parlors and pastry shops.
Gruppo Albert, founded in 1981 by the Libralato family and headquartered in Scandolara di Zero Branco (TV, Italy), is a leading producer of ingredients for the production of artisanal ice creams and pastry products with special expertise in balanced, homogenized bases and aseptic fruit purées. With longstanding experience in the sector and unique technology, Gruppo Albert respects and preserves natural flavors enabling ice cream makers to produce high quality and personalized creations. The company serves roughly 850 customers, including ice cream parlors, pastry shops and distributors with a strong foreign presence (~80% of sales), particularly in Germany. The development strategy is based on a strengthened presence in Italy and a continued focus on international expansion, through both organic and external growth opportunities.
Following this transaction, FAI and ALI will hold a majority stake in Gruppo Albert alongside entrepreneur Enrico Libralato, who, fully supported by the new shareholders, is confirmed as CEO and will guide to the company towards new goals through a path of continual and robust growth.
Enrico Libralato declared: "I am convinced that this project, backed by recognized investors such as FAI and ALI, is key to developing our leadership position in the ice cream and pastry ingredients sector. I thank them and accept the challenge, reaffirming that the "pact with nature" made by our Group 40 years ago will continue to be upheld and renewed through high quality and innovative products."
Francesco Orazi, Director of FAI I, stated: "Through our network of contacts in the agri-food sector, we will be particularly active in supporting Albert's growth and development, strengthening its competitive position an in distinctively "made it Italy" sector. We are pleased to work alongside Enrico Libralato and ALI in this new growth phase for the company."
Matteo Bruni, Partner with Azimut Libera Impresa SGR, added: "Albert represents a great opportunity in a dynamic sector with a multiplication of product innovations. We believe that the company, under the stewardship of Enrico Libralato with support from ALI and FAI, can achieve strong results."
FAI and ALI were assisted by Gitti & Partners, Studio Legale Giovannlli e Associati as legal advisors, Goetz Partners for Business Due Diligence and by Grant Thornton for Financial and Tax Due Diligence, Studio Linko Farinazzo as financial advisor.
Gruppo Albert was assisted by Berto & Associati.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of summer 2021.