BC Partners exits Italian food firm

The London-based private equity firm has sold the Galbani cheese and meat business four years after acquiring it from Group Danone.

European buyout firm BC Partners has sold Italian cheese and meat group Galbani to French dairy company Lactalis for an undisclosed price.
 
BC Partners acquired Galbani, the Italian cheese and cured meat operations of Groupe Danone, in February 2002 for €1.015 billion ($1.2 billion).
 
According to media reports, Galbani was sold to Lactalis for between €1.5 billion and €2 billion. The disposal process, begun in November 2005, is reported to have garnered the interest of a number of private equity groups, including Paris-based Eurazeo.
 
Deutsche Bank advised BC Partners on the transaction. Lactalis was advised by Rothschild.
 
BC Partners declined to comment on the transaction.
 
Established in 1882, Milan-headquartered Galbani generates an annual turnover of €1.3 billion producing cheese brands including Santa Lucia, Galbanino and Valletata, as well as mozzeralla and cured meats.
 
BC Partners is currently investing from its BC European Capital VIII fund, which closed in May 2005 on €5.5 billion. Last week, the firm agreed to acquire a majority stake in Athens-listed Greek hotel and casino operator Hyatt Regency from Hellenic Casinos.
 
Headquartered in London, BC Partners also has offices in Paris, Milan, Hamburg and Geneva.