CSM Ingredients acquires Hi-Food
CSM Ingredients, held by investment companies of Investindustrial VII L.P. and specialising in the research and production of food ingredients, has announced the acquisition of Hi-Food, a company specialising in the research, development and production of natural origin ingredients. The acquisition is a continuation of Investindustrial’s strategy of proactively shaping the future of food by acquiring and building innovative and sustainable companies in the sector.
Founded in 2012 in Parma, Italy, by Giampaolo Cagnin, Massimo Ambanelli and Emanuele Pizzigalli – in close collaboration with the University of Parma – Hi-Food has since grown by developing innovative solutions in the world of functional ingredients for the plant-based and clean label food industry. The company’s solutions are characterised by the presence of selected ingredients, of natural origin and free of chemical additives. In particular, Hi-Food’s ingredients are developed through novel methods of transformation as well as with raw materials of plant origin that respond to the growing demand for healthy, nutritionally-balanced products that contribute to the sustainable evolution of the food industry.
As part of the transaction, the shareholders of Hi-Food will reinvest their proceeds into CSM Ingredients, also taking on important roles in the areas of R&D and commercial management. With this acquisition, CSM Ingredients — which to-date already counts with over 1,400 employees, three research and innovation centres, eight production plants and two open-innovation hubs – takes yet another decisive step with the creation of an Italian ingredient-tech hub dedicated to uncovering transformative solutions for the world of food.
In the coming months, Hi-Food will complete the construction of one of the most modern and advanced plants for the production and processing of natural, plant-based ingredients, free of allergens and synthetic additives. Located in Pilastro di Langhirano (near Parma), the new Italian facility, equipped with a permanent high-tech extrusion research centre, promises to offer some of the most advanced development and application services in Europe. The plant will feature a coordinated group of pilot structures, experimental kitchens and industrial machines which will be able to create product prototypes and new foods with the ultimate objective of not only satisfying the nutritional needs of contemporary customers, but also anticipate future trends.
Andrea C. Bonomi, chairman of Investindustrial’s Industrial Advisory Board, commented: “We are delighted that a new partnership has been created, with our support, between CSM Ingredients and Giampaolo Cagnin and his excellent team at Hi-Food. The research and development that has distinguished Hi-Food since its foundation is a perfect complement to the industrial platform that we began to build in the ingredients sector with the acquisition of CSM Ingredients in April 2021. Investindustrial has taken a long-term interest in the evolution of the sectors surrounding food sustainability, such as food production, ingredients, nutritional supplements, packaging and closures. Over the last five years, we have made eight new platform investments in these sectors investing €1.5 billion of equity. Those companies have in turn made another 11 add-on acquisitions, and currently employ a total of approximately 10,300 employees.”
Aldo Uva, CEO of CSM Ingredients, commented: “As part of CSM Ingredient’s innovation and strong expansion, Hi-Food represents excellence in the quest for solutions that can contribute to the sustainable evolution of the food industry. The acquisition allows us to create a perfect blend between the operational solidity, the global footprint and the professional know-how of CSM Ingredients with the visionary and pioneering spirit of Hi-Food, helping to accelerate the propulsive reality for the future of food. The acquisition of Hi-Food is the first milestone of our ongoing R&D worldwide effort, that, in the medium term, will exceed €200 million in investments.”
Giampaolo Cagnin, founder of Hi-Food, who will join the Advisory Board of CSM Ingredients, concluded: “The scientific approach and Hi-Food innovations will find in CSM Ingredients an ideal launching pad and reciprocal multiplication of value. With Investindustrial’s determination to help shaping the ingredients industry towards a more sustainable future, I consider this to be a perfect alliance with extraordinary potential for value creation.”
Synergetic – Hi-Food’s majority shareholder – has been assisted by Houlihan Lokey (Matteo Manfredi and Tommaso Lillo) and Studio Legale Giliberti Triscornia e Associati (Francesco Cartolano) for financial and legal matters respectively.
Chiomenti (Luca Liistro) and Slaughter and May (Filippo de Falco) acted as Buyer’s legal advisor.