Equinox, a private equity company that invests in Italian companies active in the mid-market segment, has reached an agreement for the acquisition of a majority stake (80%) in Clas, the worldwide leader in the production of ambient pesto from 100% Italian basil for the main industrial brands and for the private labels in Italy and abroad.
The acquisition is aimed at supporting the Company’s expansion strategy both in terms of organic growth and external growth, through new acquisitions.The transaction structure foresees that Equinox acquires an 80% stake in the Company. The current shareholders Renato Bersano (who will be appointed as a Chairman) and Cominter will hold the remaining 20% stake. Alessandro Bettini (who will also be co – investor with Equinox) will be the Company’s CEO.
Founded in 1989 in Sanremo (Imperia) and subsequently transferred to Chiusanico (Imperia), Clas has established itself in Liguria as the world leader in the production of ambient pesto from 100% Italian basil for the main industrial brands and for the modern trade channel in Italy and abroad.
Clas has an integrated production process from the seed to the finished product with a direct control over the entire basil supply chain through its own farm. The investments made in the last 3 years allowed the Company to produce Genovese pesto directly from fresh basil (rather than from a semifinished base made of basil, oil and cheese) harvested and processed within 12 hours, and to become the main supplier of important industrial companies and retailer chains.
Over the years, Clas has consolidated its presence abroad, mainly in Germany, France, UK and USA, where it serves important industrial companies with leading brands and private label chains both directly and through primary distributors.
In 2019 the company generated a turnover of €40m and in 2020 Clas is expected to generate a turnover of approx. €55m.
Vitale acted as sell advisor, assisting the shareholders of Clas.