Eataly has signed an agreement with private equity group Investindustrial giving the European investment company a majority stake in order to further the specialty Italian grocery chain’s global expansion efforts, according to a Wednesday press release.
The deal involves a 200 million euro (approximately $194 million) investment as well as Investindustrial purchasing additional shares from existing shareholders, ultimately giving them a controlling stake of 52%. The remaining 48% of the shares will be split between existing shareholders Eatinvest (Farinetti family), the Baffigo/Miroglio family and Clubitaly (Tamburi Investment Partners), per the announcement.
With this investment, Eataly will be able to repay its net financial debt as well as open new flagship stores and develop new formats, with its global expansion plans including growing its presence in North America, according to the press release. Currently, Eataly has more than 40 locations in 15 countries including eight flagship stores in North America and 16 franchise stores across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
“This partnership will allow us to strengthen our unique format worldwide, promote innovative projects related to innovation and enhance our capabilities,” Eataly CEO Nicola Farinetti said in a statement, noting that Investindustrial “shares Eataly's values and vision, and has chosen to support us in achieving our goal to be the Italian ambassador for ‘Made in Italy’ around the world.”
A new Eataly CEO is soon to be announced, though the press release did not specify when, and Farinetti will take over as chairman of the grocery chain.
Investindustrial has recently invested over 2.5 billion euros into the food industry. The company has extensive experience in the food industry, specifically in regard to Italian companies from previous investments in private label producers, ingredients companies and hospitality businesses, including La Doria, Italcanditi and the Dispensa Emilia restaurant chain, to name a few.