` Chinese Co. Buys Majority Stake in Filippo Berio Producer - Olive Oil Times

Chinese Co. Buys Majority Stake in Filippo Berio Producer

Oct. 8, 2014
Chris Lindahl

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Shanghai-based Bright Food Group has acquired a major­ity stake in Italy’s Salov Group, which pro­duces the Sagra and Filippo Berio brands.

Shanghai Yimin No. 1 Food Factory, a sub­sidiary of Bright Food, final­ized the deal with Salov’s owner, the Fontana fam­ily, on October 1, accord­ing to a state­ment released on their web­site. Bright Food is China’s sec­ond-largest food con­glom­er­ate. The Fontana fam­ily will retain minor­ity ownership.

Filippo Berio is the top-sell­ing brand in both the United States and the United Kingdom, while Sagra holds a large mar­ket share in the group’s home coun­try. The Salov group sells their prod­ucts in over 60 coun­tries with annual sales reach­ing €330 mil­lion ($417 million).

According to a state­ment released by Bright Food, the move is a busi­ness response to chang­ing habits among China’s grow­ing mid­dle class as they look towards more health­ful foods.

This invest­ment in Italy responds to Bright Food’s plan to direct Chinese peo­ple’s habits toward a healthy nutri­tion lifestyle, such as the Mediterranean diet,” said the statement.

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While the group will retain olive oil pro­duc­tion in Italy, the Chinese firm says they will sup­port the con­tin­ued inter­na­tional expan­sion of Salov’s brands.

The move is another step toward Bright Food’s goal of increased inter­na­tional pres­ence. In recent years, it has acquired major­ity stakes in Australian food com­pany Manassen and UK-based Weetabix. It is also in the final stages of its planned acqui­si­tion of Israel’s Tnuva.


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