Vestar acquires Italian meat producer

The €360 million buyout of Cesare Fiorucci from the Fiorucci family is the firm's fifth investment in Europe.

Vestar Capital Partners, the global mid-market private equity firm, has signed an agreement to acquire a 55 percent stake in Italian cured meat procure Cesare Fiorucci in a deal valued at €360 million ($470 million).

The Italian company is a family business that produces and sells cured meats and other food products. Marco Matica, a managing director in Vestar's Milan office, said in an interview with PEO that the firm had a long relationship with the company's previous owner, which he believed had helped them to beat a rival offer from Italian private equity group Clessidra Capital.

Matica said that the company's owner, Cavaliere del Lavoro Ferruccio Fiorucci,  was attracted to a private equity deal because it allowed him to sell the majority of the company while retaining a 25 percent share. The management team will hold 20 percent, and Vestar the remainder.

The firm was attracted to the deal because of its experience in the food sector and the potential for consolidation in the Italian meat industry. The company also has a US subsidiary, which the firm hopes to help develop through its contacts and knowledge of the US market.

Vestar Capital is a generalist mid-market firm, focusing on MBOs valued at between $300 million and $600 million. This is the latest investment from the $2.5 billion fund Vester Capital Partners IV; the fund is now around $2 billion invested.

The firm plans to launch a fifth fund later in the year.