CP Advisors advised the shareholders of Salpa Special Food, the world leading producer of ice cream cookies, chocolate decorations, covers, toppings and cookie dough, on the sale to Equinox private equity.
San Giustino (PG), Italy - 21 June 2021
CP Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Salpa Special Food, the world leading producer of ice cream cookies, chocolate decorations, covers, inclusions and cookie dough, on the sale to Equinox private equity.
Established in 1934 by the Cherubini family as a flour producer, Salpa is today the undisputed world leader in the production of high-quality ice cream cookies, chocolate decorations, covers, inclusions and toppings, gluten-free products, cookie dough and breadcrumbs for top multinationals in the ice cream, yogurt and confectionery industries and retailers.
With a distinctive know-how, proprietary technology, state of art production facilities and innovation centers, Salpa is well known worldwide in the ice cream cookies industry. The Group operates through 3 owned production plants, equipped with the most advanced technological standards and a solid R&D team dedicated to product and process innovation. The latest production facility built in 2019 in Montone (PG) boasts the most advanced technological and automation standards in the sector, including a fully automated vertical warehouse.
In 2021, the Group will generate over €40 million in revenues with €11 million in EBITDA, confirming the solid growth trend of the San Giustino based company, which has doubled the size of its business over the last 4 years. Globally recognized for its uniqueness and distinctive proprietary technology, Salpa has been for over 40 years a technological partner for several global clients with the highest international standing, including multinationals such as Unilever, Froneri, Nestlè, Ferrero, Mars, Sammontana, Findus, etc. The domestic market generates 65% of sales (mainly with international customers), while the rest of the business is generated abroad with a strong focus in Scandinavia, Spain, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States.
The transaction, named Project Royal, allows the Cherubini family to strengthen the governance of the Group and accelerate the international growth by targeting the American market, a geographical area that represents a significant growth opportunity for Salpa. Despite the strong interest expressed by several strategic players and primary private equity funds, the Cherubini family has chosen Equinox as a financial partner for the project to ensure the business continuity, a strong territorial link and to complete the generational handover.
The strategic project underlying the transaction, originated and run by CP Advisors, creates a leading industrial platform which will expand the current product offering with complementary solutions to better serve the global blue-chip clients and will accelerate the international growth through acquisitions, some of which are already in advanced negotiations
The Cherubini family will continue running the business while reinvesting a solid minority position (35%).
The CP Advisors team, led by Salvo Mazzotta and Marco Garro, and coordinated in the transaction by the director Giovanni Nucera and by the senior associate Carmen Colombo, originated and managed the sale process assisting the Cherubini family.
Angelo Facchinetti, partner of Equinox, commented: “We are proud that the Cherubini family has chosen Equinox as a partner for the development of the Salpa Group, a case of industrial excellence of Made in Italy. Its products enjoy a high level of recognition on the market and the company is ready to embark on a path of further expansion also thanks to the professionalism of the management team, advanced production technologies and a research and development capacity oriented towards continuous innovation of product and optimization of production processes. The entry of Equinox is aimed at strengthening market leadership and commercial penetration in countries with high growth rates and development potentials such as the USA, Eastern Europe and some markets in the APAC area. An external growth strategy will also be developed”.
"The opening of the capital represents a new step for the growth of Salpa, which already today, thanks to the innovation and quality of its products, represents a reference point for the most important companies in the confectionery sector and thanks to our high technological level we can create industrial products in the bakery world of any format, with very complex designs and logos - comment the entrepreneurs Maria Rita and Abramo Cherubini. - We are very satisfied with the partnership with Equinox which will allow the Group to continue to grow and maintain its international leadership: together with the management team we have important objectives of expansion and value creation and we have chosen to share this project with Equinox because we believe in its industrial approach and business”.
Commenting on the transaction, Salvo Mazzotta, Managing Partner of CP Advisors added. “We are incredibly pleased and honored to have assisted the Cherubini family and the management team of Salpa in this process and supported them in selecting the most suitable partner able to strengthen the governance of the Group and to accelerate the international growth of the business. Equinox has demonstrated a strong ability to fully understand the business’’ potential while aligning its strategic view with the entrepreneurs’ interests for the future of the Group, including pursuing acquisitions in the US market. We will continue to support the Group in its acquisition strategy”.