Taste of Italy 2 and Alcedo V invest in Demetra S.p.A.

Taste of Italy 2 and Alcedo V invest in Demetra S.p.A. to create an international player in the agricultural machinery sector

Milan, 20 February 2023

Taste of Italy 2, a private equity fund specialised in the agri-food sector and managed by DeA Capital Alternative Funds SGR, and Alcedo V, a private equityfund managed by Alcedo SGR, have jointly acquired 100% of Demetra S.p.A., with the aim of creating an industry-leading group.

Demetra was created in 2018 from the merger between Agrimaster and Breviagri, two historic Italian agricultural machinery producers operating (since 1984 and 1949 respectively) under their namesake brands.

Under the Agrimaster brand, the company produces mulchers and mechanical arms for agricultural greenery maintenance; under the Breviagri brand, the company produces harrows, tillers and cultivators for soil preparation. The company operates two plants based in Italy, respectively in Molinella (BO) and Nogara (VR). In recent years, Demetra has seen growth in both the domestic and international markets, establishing itself as a leader in the soil preparation and maintenance segment, with a strong market position in France, Italy and Germany and a presence in more than 80 countries.

In October 2022, Demetra acquired the Danish company Dalbo A/S, which was founded in 1948 and specialises in the production of rollers and seedbed cultivators. Dalbo has a significant market presence in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Scandinavian Peninsula. The company operates a factory near Billund in Southern Denmark and has commercial branches in the UK and France. 

The Group currently has a turnover of more than EUR 60 million, of which more than 80% is generated in foreign markets.

Taste of Italy and Alcedo will support the Group’s development through a significant investment plan focused on production processes and innovation, with the expansion of the sales network across European and non-European markets and an acquisitions programme aimed at completing the product range, covering all the main phases of both open- and closed-field farming (soil preparation, sowing, transplanting, crop protection, harvesting). The acquisition programme will continue to retain the identity and autonomy of the brands within the platform.

Demetra will be held, via its parent company Persefone S.r.l., by Taste of Italy 2 and Alcedo V, with each taking a 50% stake and both funds sharing joint governance.

Filippo Amidei, Managing Director of Taste of Italy, said,

Filippo Amidei, Managing Director - DeA Capital Alternative Funds Sgr - Gruppo De Agostini

“We believe that the agricultural machinery sector is benefitting from the growing trend of process mechanisation and the revision of cultivation practices made necessary by climate change and the EU’s strategy for reducing the use of agrochemicals. While the agricultural machinery sector is a real area of excellence in Italy, it is still extremely fragmented. We have identified Demetra as the ideal platform for an ambitious consolidation project targeting international markets”.

Alessandro Zanet, Investment Director of Alcedo, noted, “Alcedo remains committed to the Demetra project and, in general, to the development of the agricultural machinery sector. The partnership with Taste of Italy will lend further momentum to the Group’s growth, particularly in the European and international markets, which are already well established. Together, we aim to consolidate the Group as a leading independent operator in the European agricultural equipment sector, with the capacity to take on an important role in light of the growing trend of mechanisation and technological innovation across the agricultural sector, where Italian and European enterprises have always stood for excellence”.

Luciano Paiola, Managing Director of Demetra, commented, “Strengthening the controlling shareholder base enables us to implement our growth strategy through consolidation in the agricultural machinery sector. Smart agriculture is the immediate future – a monumental transformation that will make our machines capable of providing valuable information to users in real time, improving the productivity, efficiency and sustainability of field operations. We are aware that developing smart agricultural machinery requires cutting-edge technology that only medium- to large-scale companies are able to harness”

On behalf of Taste of Italy, the deal was led by Filippo Amidei (Managing Director), Pierluca Antolini (Managing Director), Riccardo Arosio (Senior Associate) and Riccardo Bonini (Analyst).

On behalf of Alcedo, the deal was led by Maurizio Tiveron (Partner), Michele Gallo (Partner), Alessandro Zanet (Investment Director) and Gioia Ronchin (Investment Manager).

Taste of Italy and Alcedo were assisted by the law firm Bonelli Erede, with its team of lawyers, Alessandro Ippolito and Alberto Corsello, led by Partner Eliana Catalano as well as Vittorio Pomarici and Federico Carolla for labour matters; the law firm Bird&Bird, with its team of lawyers, Matteo Meroni, Francesco Bianco and Sara Calamitosi, led by Partners Alberto Salvadè and Pierpaolo Mastromarini; Filippo Cerrone from goetzpartners, who conducted the business due diligence; Matteo Contini and Annina Filosa from KPMG, who conducted the financial due diligence; Giacomo Perrone from KPMG, who conducted the tax due diligence; Giovanni Aquaro from ERM, who conducted the ESG due diligence; Leo De Rosa and Federica Paiella from Russo De Rosa Associati, who helped with the structuring of the operation.

The Group received financial support from a pool of leading private debt funds and Italian banks — namely, Finint SGR, on behalf of the private debt fund PMI Italia II; Tenax Capital on behalf of Tenax PMI; Banca Finint and ICCREA Banca (through the subscription of a bond); and BPER (through medium-/long-term financing). The financiers were assisted by Marina Balzano from the law firm Orrick and Eugenio Siragusa from the law firm Advant NCTM. Demetra was assisted by Alessandro Azzolini and Maria Lenza from PwC as debt advisors.