21 December 2023Place:
San Giustino (PG), Italy
CP Advisors acted as sole financial advisor to Salpa, a global leader in the production of ice cream biscuits, inclusions, toppings, cookie dough, and breadcrumbs, in the sale to the private equity fund Apheon
Founded in 1934 by the Cherubini family, Salpa is today the undisputed European leader in the production of ice cream biscuits and one of the major producers of inclusions, cookie dough, and gluten-free products, for key players in the ice cream, confectionary and yogurt industries. Given its distinctive know-how (the company launches about 80 new/restyled products annually) and innovative proprietary technologies, the Company is globally recognized as a partner capable of addressing its customers' needs comprehensively (One-Stop-Shop), successfully building long-term relationships with industry blue chips such as Unilever, Froneri, Ferrero, Mars, Sammontana, Emmi, among the other.
The Company operates through 3 fully-owned production facilities, equipped with the most advanced technological standards on an area of approximately 76,200 square meters (of which 22,700 are covered). The third production facility, completed in 2019 with a doubling of the annual production capacity, includes a state-of-the-art plant with an automated vertical warehouse (18 meters) for a total capacity of 3,700 pallets. Further measures are also in progress to increase the available industrial area with an additional 4,300 square meters by the year 2024.
In 2023, the Company is expected to achieve revenues of 70 million euros and an EBITDA of 22 million euros, confirming the strong growth trend that has led the Company to double its turnover in 3 years (considering that in 2020 the Company generated revenues of 35 million euros). The domestic market generates 66% of sales, followed by Poland, Sweden, Spain, and Germany.
Following a successful partnership with Equinox in June 2021 (always managed by CP Advisors), the Cherubini family is poised to perpetuate its trajectory of growth in collaboration with the European-based fund Apheon (formerly Ergon). Apheon and the Cherubini family have drafted a detailed blueprint in order to achieve an expansion in United States, coupling with a buy- and-build strategy.
CP Advisors, led by managing partner Salvo Mazzotta, Marco Garro, and Giovanni Nucera, originated and managed the divestiture process, assisting both entrepreneurs and Equinox. Salpa was also assisted by KPMG for the financial & tax vendor due diligence and audit, with a team composed of Lorenzo Brusa, Riccardo Musiani, Massimo Agnello, Giuseppe Pancrazi and Sabato Iorio. Shearman & Sterling (Fabio Fauceglia, Leonardo Pinta, Giuseppe Fichera) and Advant NCTM (Pietro Zanoni, Alessia Trevisan, Lorenzo Foot) supported the Cherubini Family and Equinox in all legal aspects.
Apheon was assisted by PwC for financial Due Diligence (Emanuela Pettenò, Tunca Civaoglu, Francesco F. Giordano) and Debt Advisory (Alessandro Azzolini, Andrea di Cello, Davide Scroccaro and Filippo Ampollini), GOP (Gianluca Ghersini, Gabriele Ramponi and Olympia Foà) for legal advisory, and Russo & De Rosa Associati (Valerio Libani and Andrea Massaccesi) for the tax advisory.
Riccardo Collini, Partner at Apheon, commented: "The Cherubini family has built a world-class company with a highly advanced industrial structure based on proprietary technologies and internally customized production processes. We share Salpa's values of innovation and excellence and feel privileged to support the management team in growing the company together."
"We thank the Equinox team for the successful collaboration over the past few years," continue Maria Rita and Abramo Cherubini, "and we have had recognize in Apheon a partner capable of providing strategic guidance and capital for a new phase of growth. We appreciate Apheon for its balance in local and global approach and its knowledge of the food and food ingredients sector. Given to this partnership, we will be able to continue to grow, enter new markets, innovate, and achieve new milestones. This is the beginning of a new chapter for Salpa, and we are excited to embark on it with Apheon."
Massimiliano Monti, Partner at Equinox, commented: "It has been a privilege to contribute, over the past 3 years, to the development of the company and support the Salpa management team in achieving the significant organic growth that has laid the foundation for the next phase of business expansion. We have identified Apheon as the ideal partner to support the family and the company on this exciting journey to extend Salpa's leadership position globally."
Salvo Mazzotta, Managing Partner at CP Advisors, commented: "We are proud to have assisted Equinox, the Cherubini family and the Salpa team during this process, offering our support in choosing the most suitable financial partner to strengthen the group's governance and accelerate international business growth. Apheon has demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the sector and of its potential, successfully aligning the entrepreneurs' interests with its own strategic vision, including expansion into the US market through acquisitions of complementary companies. We will continue to support the Company in its acquisition strategy.