Coca Cola signed a preliminary agreement to purchase Acque Minerali srl, a company producing mineral water and Lurisia branded soft drinks, based on an enterprise value of 88 million euros (subject to price adjustment as per market practice). The agreement was signed by Coca Cola HBC Italia, the Italian subsidiary of the Coca Cola HBC group, with the support of The Coca-Cola Company (see here the Coca Cola press release and here the one of the legal advisors).
The IdeA Taste of Italy fund, managed by Dea Capital Aalternative Funds sgr, the Italian luxury food retail chain Eataly and the Invernizzi family are the sellers, assisted by Fivelex Studio Legale, while Orrick supported Coca Cola. The fund had acquired a 33% stake of Acque Minerali srl in January 2017, in partnership with the Invernizzi family and Eataly, which in turn had invested in Lurisia in 2004 (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
Piero Bagnasco, current president and ceo of Lurisia, and Alessandro Invernizzi, representatives of two of the selling shareholders, will remain on the Board of Directors of Acque Minerali in order to ensure the business continuity. The completion of the acquisition is subject to certain conditions and is expected by the end of 2019.
The Piedmont factory of Acque Minerali srl joins the other 4 Italian Coca Cola plants, located in Campania, Abruzzo, Basilicata and Veneto. The acquisition completes Coca-Cola HBC’s current beverage portfolio in Italy and is consistent with its 24/7 Total Beverage Strategy. Moreover, it allows it to increase the premium offer of its range and to offer consumers products with a strong tradition and well-established Italian origins.
This is the second acquisition of an Italian mineral water producer by Coca Cola after the one of Fonti del Vulture, which since 1896 bottles the Lilia and Sveva brands, acquired in 2006 by Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and by The Coca-Cola Company in joint venture. In March 2016, Fonti del Vulture then sold the Lucan mineral water plant of Monticchio Bagni (Toka, Solaria and Felicia brands) to the Acque Minerali d’Italia group, the holding that controls the companies that own the well-known mineral water brands Norda, Sangemini and Gaudianello, chaired by Carlo Pessina (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
Founded in 1940 in Roccaforte Mondovì, in the North-West of Italy, Acque Minerali is a producer and distributor of mineral waters and premium drinks with the Lurisia brand. In the water category, the company offers mineral and frying water from sources at 1,400 meters above sea level on Monte Pigna, in PET and glass packaging. Lurisia is a premium mineral water and soft drink brand, which first presented a design glass bottle “Bolle” and “Stille” in 2008, with a characteristic bell shape, designed by the architecture and design studio Sottsass Associati. In the same year, Lurisia launched a line of natural drinks inspired by the Italian tradition (chinotto, gazzosa, tonic and orange). Since 2008, the company has been a partner in the main events organized by Slow Food, a non-profit organization founded in 1986 in Italy that promotes local dishes and traditional cuisine.
Lurisia has been present on the US market since 1992 and today exports to all five continents. Acque Minerali srl closed 2018 with revenues of 20 million euros, an ebitda of 2.8 million and a net liquidity of 1.6 million (see the Leanus analysis, once registered for free).
Coca-Cola HBC Italia, part of the Coca-Cola HBC AG Group, is the main producer and distributor of products of The Coca-Cola Company in Italy. It employs over 2,000 employees, located in the headquarters in Sesto San Giovanni (MI), in the warehouses and in the three factories for the production of soft drinks, located in Nogara (VR), Oricola (AQ) and Marcianise (CE). Another plant in Rionero in Vulture (PZ) is intended for bottling mineral water.