BS-led consortium to sell olive oil supplier for €132m

Spanish food company SOS Cuétara has signed a preliminary agreement to acquire Carapelli Firenze from a group of Italian private equity investors.

Minerva Oli SpA, the Italian olive oil producer owned by Spanish food company SOS Cuétara, has agreed to fully acquire rival Carapelli Firenze for €132.48 million ($157 million). The purchase will be made from a consortium of private equity investors led by Italian buyout concern BS Private Equity.

According to the deal terms, SOS Cuétara will also assume Carapelli’s net financial debt, which is anticipated to be approximately €36 million at the end of 2005.

BS Private Equity, along with Italian private equity firms Arca Impresa Gestioni SGR and MPS Venture SGR and company management, bought 100 percent of the olive oil supplier in May 2002 from Cereol SA, the Paris-listed cooking oil division of Italian utility Edison SpA, for €101 million. BS holds a controlling interest of 57 percent of Carapelli through its €300 million Italian Private Equity Fund III fund.

Tuscany-based Carapelli is known for being the first company to market extra-virgin olive oil to supermarket chains in the 1970s. Last year, the company’s turnover surpassed €240 million and sold 84 million litres of oil, of which 25 percent was sold abroad.