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News

Italy: 100% of Solana's capital taken over by Xenon Private Equity

15/05/2024 - François-Xavier Branthôme
Xenon Private Equity has finalized the acquisition of 100% of the capital of Solana spa, the industrial tomato processing company based in Maccastorna (Lodi). A preliminary sales agreement was signed last February, providing for the completion of the transaction in the first quarter of this year, once the usual regulatory approvals are obtained.
 
 Prior to Xenon’s entry, 60% of the Solana group’s share capital was owned by farmers, who are basically the suppliers of the processing company. The remaining 40% was instead subscribed by other investors. 
The aim of the operation is to create, notably through subsequent acquisitions, a pole of excellence in the production of tomato products and other vegetables, under the management of Solana and its leaders, coordinated by the CEO, Antonio Casana, who retains the responsibility of managing the company (see press release here- in Italian). The Xenon team has been coordinated by founding partner and managing director Franco Prestigiacomo, and includes investment managers Francesco Banfi and Teresa Toniutti.

In terms of governance, the agreement provides for Antonio Casana to retain the role of CEO, working with Xenon to implement the development plan. Xenon has approved the new investments already planned by Solana and will move through new operations of M&A in order to strengthen the company's presence in the agri-food sector, extend its territorial and commercial reach and create a solid group of processing companies operating in the B2B sector (industrial and foodservice), by bringing together other entities with the Lodi-based company. 

Solana was founded in 2001 by a group of entrepreneurs with the aim of creating a production site of excellence, and began processing in 2003. The company is based in the Po Valley, where it operates on a site with a total surface area of 135,000 m2, including 27,000 m2 roofed area. The plant has been innovatively built to optimize production flows and processes in line with hygiene, energy and industrial requirements, and in compliance with ESG standards.

With a production capacity of over 200,000 tons of fresh tomatoes and a high supply chain integration, Solana is a leading industry in terms of quality in the B2B channels (ingredients for industrial use and food service) also thanks to the adoption of process technologies that allow the quality characteristics of the tomatoes, which are cultivated in the Po Valley, to be maintained according to sustainability standards.
Today, Solana manages around 2,500 hectares of crops, with tomatoes supplied by the five largest supply associations in the Italian fruit and vegetable sector. In all, around 220 farms supply Solana with the raw materials needed for its production. The products (diced tomatoes, pulps, purees, semi-pastes, and pastes) are marketed in Italy but mostly abroad: in Europe, Japan, United States.
According to the financial statements for June 2023, the company generated sales of EUR 64.3 million, with an Ebitda of EUR 20.5 million.

 

This is the fourth deal announced this year by Xenon Private Equity's various funds, which have been active in sectors as diverse as consulting specializing in the design and implementation of corporate relations plans, water technologies and treatment services, and customer engagement and loyalty programs.
 

Some complementary data
The new BoD of Solana is composed by:
Antonio Casana CEO
Franco Prestigiacomo (President) and Xenon CEO
Francesco Banfi (Xenon)
Stefano Calabrò (Xenon)
Stefano Repetti (tomato grower)

Gelmetti Pierfrancesco was the legal adviser for Xenon.

For further d
etails about Solana, click here.

Sources: Solana, bebeez.it, ilsole24ore.com, 
Related companies

SOLANA SpA

Tomato processor See details
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