Investindustrial, formerly 21 Invest, has announced an E70m commitment to buy a 40 per cent shareholding in Ruffino SpA, a Chianti winery based in Tuscany and founded in 1877. The majority of the company will remain with the Folonari family.
‘For the first time the Folonari family has allowed a non-family member to become a shareholder,’ said Andrea C Bonomi, chairman of Investindustrial.
‘They have done so with a view that the time has come to grow the business further with a strong financial and operational partner. It is rare to have the opportunity to invest in a large and prestigious wine producer in Italy, Ruffino represents a strong base for a buy-and-build in the wine industry,’ he added.
Although the buy-out market in Italy has been relatively sluggish since 2001, it is seen as having huge potential by institutional investors across Europe. Investindustrial strengthened its private equity team in autumn 2002 with the appointments of Michele Garulli and Niccolo’ Uzielli de Mari.
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