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Aksìa Private Equity Specialist Takes Big Slice of Valpizza Business in Italy

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Aksìa Capital, a Milano, Italy-based private equity firm, has acquired a majority stake in Valpizza S.r.l., a Valsamoggia-headquartered producer of frozen pizza products founded in 1992 by Vanes Biagi, who will maintain a 20% share of the company. The sales price was not disclosed.

Highly regarded in Europe as a reliable supplier of frozen pizza base as well a topped pizza, the company generated sales of approximately €20 million and an EBITDA margin in excess of €4 million last year.

Valpizza produces a wide range of branded and private label products at a 7,400-square-meter production plant that currently turns out approximately 30 million pieces per annum. It recently unveiled plans to build a new factory with a total area of 11,000 square meters to meet rising demand by doubling the production capacity.

The company’s offerings include pizzas stretched extra-thin by hand and accented with various ingredients prior to baking in a wood-fired oven, to thick country-style crust Sbiffia pizza made with premium dough to impart a special fragrance and softness. The Sbiffia option, at 28 cm long and 13 cm wide, boasts five different toppings, recreating the entire line.

Also available is La Pizza del Territorio (Locally-sourced Pizza). It features dough made from flour produced by Naldoni of Marzeno di Brisighella, mozzarella by Valcolatte, salt from Cervia, and Cavicchi Opoe tomato.

The Aksìa Group has named Marco Setti at the company’s new chief executive officer. He has extensive experience and a strong commercial background in the food sector and has taken a minority stake in the operation. Founder Vanes Biagi will become the company’s chairman, mainly supporting in the evaluation and construction of the new production facility.

“We decided to invest in a leading player in this market,” said Marco Rayneri, managing partner of the Aksìa Group. “Our development plan, together with the strengthening of the managerial structure and the consolidation of the company’s business both in the domestic and international market, foresees further investments in production capacity, a new marketing and communication strategy and the launch of new products. Furthermore, we will also expand the company through acquisitions.”