ITALY— Katjes Group, a German confectionery business, has bought Italian seasonal confectionery company Paluani thus strengthening its own position as market leader in the area of seasonal articles.

The acquisition, for which financial details have not been disclosed, was carried out through Katjes Italian subsidiary Sperlari S.r.l, which it acquired from fellow European confectioner Cloetta last year.

Taking into account a base price of EUR7.6million (US$ 7.7 million) set by the Bankruptcy Court of Verona and the added cost of production facilities, reports in Italy suggest the figure is around EUR8million (US$8.1million).

Stephan Milde, CFO of Katjes International, said that as part of the transaction, Sperlari acquired all operating assets of the business including the production site, machines and IP.

He added that Paluani’s operations will continue in a business-as-usual manner, and this includes taking over the majority of the employees, including existing local management in order to ensure aforesaid business continuity.

Until the initiation of insolvency proceedings in October 2021, Paluani was Italy’s fourth-largest panettone manufacturer, with sales of around EUR 40 (US$40.7 million)  million in fiscal 2021 at last count. Paluani’s demise was linked to the collapse of Italian football club Chievo, which it owned.

Commenting on the business rationale for the deal, Stephan Milde, CFO of Katjes International said: “We will continue the Paluani production site in Verona and are looking to use the combined sales and marketing expertise in order to grow the business going forward.”

Tobias Bachmuller, Katjes shareholder and Sperlari CEO, said that his acquisition confirms the commitment of the Katjes Group to invest and strengthen its presence in Italy.

Katjes second continues to make acquisitions in Italy having recently acquired UK gluten-free baked goods firm Genius Foods through its venture-capital arm Katjes Greenfood, with the aim to expand its gluten-free product market.

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