Founded in Rimini in 1950, Canuti produces and sells frozen filled pasta and non-filled pasta. The company was acquired by the Toffano Pagnan family in 2015. Canuti has a well-diversified customer base, mainly distributing its products through the food service channel, and has expanded in recent years, now selling 45% of its products internationally in more than 30 countries.
Founded in 1983, Il Pastaio is a global market leader in the fresh and ambient potato-based gnocchi category, selling its products in more than 35 countries worldwide mainly for the retail channel. It is one of the pioneers of fresh pasta success outside of Italy and in recent years has enjoyed strong organic growth due to the high quality of its products, efficient production methods and a focus on international expansion. As part of its investment on Il Pastaio, Riverside plans to further internationalize the company, increase production capacity, implement operational improvements to support future growth, grow through selected add-ons and execute a proactive ESG strategy.
The acquisition of Canuti is another example of Riverside’s expertise in and dedication to the investment in the food and beverage sector. Riverside has completed more than 10 investments in this area since 2009 and has a global team of professionals dedicated to growing these companies.
Giovanni Gazzaniga, partner, commented: “We are delighted to have advised Riverside on these acquisitions which demonstrate that the Italian food sector continues to attract international investors despite current challenging market conditions. In particular, the entry of a private equity fund with strong food industry capabilities is strategic for driving the international expansion of family-owned companies with lots of growth potential”.
A&O also assisted Riverside on the debt financing supporting the acquisition of Il Pastaio. A&O’s team there comprised counsel Frederic Demeulenaere supported by associate Evangeline Schumacher on English law aspects of the financing [and Banking partner Stefano Sennhauser with associate Marco Mazzola on the Italian law aspects of the financing, counsel Alessandra Pala and senior associate Sarah Capella with support of associate Edoardo Brugnoli on capital markets and partner Francesco Guelfi and counsel Elia Ferdinando Clarizia supported by associate Simona Simone advised on tax-related matters.