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Private Label

Hazelnut Cream Giant Nutkao Up for Sale: Reports

By Branislav Pekic
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Hazelnut Cream Giant Nutkao Up for Sale: Reports

Nutkao, one of the leading Italian producers of private-label hazelnut cream, is reportedly exploring a sale of around 80% of the company, according to daily Corriere della Sera.

Founded in 1982 by Giuseppe Braida, a former Ferrero executive, Nutkao boasts impressive financials and has attracted interest from various potential buyers.

Interested Parties

German companies Baronie, which owns brands such as Alprose, Duc d'O, and Kruger of Ludwig Schokolade fame, French company Andros, owners of Biscuiterie Saint-Michel and Bonne Maman, and Spanish private-label producer Natra are all rumoured to be interested.

Another potential strategic buyer is Lindt, as Nutkao currently supplies liquid chocolate to Lindt brands like Suissa and Pernigotti.

Investment funds Towerbrook, Bain, Capvis, Rhone Capital, and Bc Partners are also reportedly circling, attracted by Nutkao's strong financials.

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Key Decision Maker

Nutkao is currently majority-owned by White Bridge Investments, while the Braida family holds the remaining 20% of Nutkao and manages the company's operations.

Nutkao has strong financials, with revenue of €340 million, of which two-thirds comes from exports, while the operating margin is around €40 million.

Besides its main production plant in Canove di Govone near Cuneo, the company has a global presence, with production facilities in North Carolina in the United States.

Based on these factors, the advisors managing the sale, Vitale & Co., believe Nutkao's valuation could exceed €500 million.

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Located in Govone near Nutella's birthplace (Alba), the company focuses solely on private-label production, for retailers like Esselunga, Conad, and Carrefour, not competing directly with Nutella.

Elsewhere, revenues at the family-owned Italian food group Ferrero rose 21% to €17 billion in the fiscal year ended August 2023, boosted by organic growth and acquisitions.

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