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Abaco for sale? Nextalia ready in pole position

The sgr would be ready to buy if Taste of Italy decides to divest the Mantua-based agricultural software company

Abaco up for sale? The time seems ripe for the Mantua-based company specializing in software for agriculture to be taken over in 2019 with a majority stake by the private equity fund Taste of Italy, a vehicle created in 2015 by DeA Capital Alternative Funds sgr (De Agostini Group) to invest in the agribusiness sector, which three years ago had entered with 70 percent in Abaco's capital, leaving 30 percent in the hands of founder Alberto Iori and other managers. The aim was to support the company in its growth strategy in the precision agriculture market (see EFA News titled Taste of Italy (DeA Capital) enters Abaco). 

According to Il Sole 24 Ore, now Taste of Italy has reportedly entrusted the U.S. investment bank Gp Bullhound and lawyers from the Gianni & Origoni law firm with the sale of Abaco, arousing the interest of a number of private equity funds: first and foremost, Nextalia sgr, an investment company launched by former Mediobanca global co-head Francesco Canzonieri. Nextalia would be among the most interested in entering Abaco's capital, having taken over in December 2022 for 50 million euros 100 percent of Ibf Servizi, an operator in Italy in precision agriculture services and professional software solutions for the agribusiness sector.

Headed by Antonio Samaritani, Abaco was founded in Mantua in 1990 and specializes at the European level in providing software based on proprietary technology used in precision agriculture, monitoring of agricultural supply chains, and management of EU agricultural policy (Cap), farm assets and real estate. With more than 50 employees in Italy and the UK, under Alternative Funds management the software house's turnover has grown from about € 9 million in 2018 to € 14 million in 2021, when ebitda was € 2.4 million.

Nextalia, was founded in 2021 by Canzonieri together with UnipolSai Assicurazioni, Micheli Associati (the company of financier Francesco Micheli), Confederazione Nazionale Coldiretti and Intesa Sanpaolo: they were later joined in the capital last april by Confindustria.

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EFA News - European Food Agency