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Nestlé, agreement with Pai fund for frozen pizza in Europe

The company will be based in Germany: two plants, one in Italy, in Benevento

Nestlé and private equity firm Pai Partners have agreed to form a joint venture for Nestlé's frozen pizza business in Europe. The goal is to create a dedicated operator "in a competitive and dynamic category". The company will be based in Germany and led by a strong and experienced management team: it will operate two production plants, in Nonnweiler, Germany, and Benevento, Italy.

Under the agreement Nestlé will retain a "non controlling" stake with equal voting rights to Pai Partners. The transaction is subject to employee consultations and regulatory approval; everything is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2023. Financial details have not been disclosed.

The partnership will cover only Nestlé's frozen pizza business in Europe: that in the United States, a leading pizza country, is out of scope and remains part of Nestlé's frozen food business. 

"We have thoroughly analyzed our European pizza business and have come to the conclusion that the partnership with Pai is the best platform to develop its full potential -explains Marco Settembri, executive vice president and ceo zone Europe at Nestlé-. The company will continue to invest in this business and participate in future growth and value creation as the joint venture continues to deliver the best pizza to consumers and retail partners".

Nestlé's pizza business spans several European countries, with annual sales of about 400 million Swiss francs, or more than 408 million euros. The pizzas are currently distributed under the Wagner, Buitoni and Garden Gourmet brands in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. 

"This transaction brings together Nestlé's iconic brands with Pai's expertise in creating food & consumer leaders", adds Frédéric Stévenin, managing partner of Pai-. We are delighted to partner once again with Nestlé to replicate our previous success". Indeed, the new partnership follows the creation of Froneri in 2016: today Froneri is a global leader in the ice cream industry with iconic brands and world-class category expertise.

The Pai Group is a French-registered company that controls several companies active in a number of sectors and, in particular, in food, consumer goods, and retail: in Italy it controls, among others, MyChef, one of Italy's leading operators in concession catering.

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EFA News - European Food Agency