Italian coffee producer Zanetti plans listing in November

MILAN, March 31 Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:49am EDT

MILAN, March 31 (Reuters) - Italian coffee producer Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group (MZB) is planning to list shares in November to fund international acquisitions and growth, chairman Massimo Zanetti told Reuters.

The holding company for brands including Segafredo Zanetti and Puccino's will sell a stake of up to 40 percent to help enlarge a network which spans more than 40 countries.

"The stock market is a route to growth. We want to expand around the world through acquisitions," said Zanetti.

Zanetti said MZB, which launched the Segafredo Zanetti brand in China in January, was looking at an acquisition opportunity in Asia and is currently building a plant in Vietnam - the world's fastest-growing market for coffee, according to market research firm Mintel - that should be up and running by the end of the year.

"We are going to produce in Vietnam because otherwise we would pay 70 percent in taxes on coffee coming from Italy and Europe, limiting the volumes," Zanetti said.

Mintel calculates the Vietnamese coffee market will grow at a compound annual rate of over 26 percent in local currency for the next five years. In total, the global coffee market will be worth over $86.8 billion this year and climb to a retail value of $111.3 billion in 2018, says Euromonitor International.

MZB manufactures 120,000 tonnes of coffee a year and produces tea, cocoa, chocolate and spices, making total annual revenue of 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

Zanetti said MZB was also looking at a possible acquisition in Costa Rica, but a potential deal in Ukraine had been put on hold due to political tensions there.

The company has not yet decided where to list, but the options under consideration are Milan, Singapore and Luxembourg.

The group Zanetti built from a green coffee merchant started by his grandfather in Treviso, near Venice, in the early 1900s, is one of Italy's thousands of firms under family ownership.

The family will retain a stake of at least 60 percent, Zanetti said, but he wants to change the shareholding structure to avoid any future instability.

"I have two children and I do not want any family problems in the future to have an impact. I prefer to take the company public so each of them can have their share, and ensure continuity in the company."

Fellow Italian food and beverage firm Eataly said recently it plans to list, taking advantage of investor appetite for the country's consumer goods sector. All four listings on Milan's main market in the past three years have been by high-end consumer goods firms. ($1 = 0.7271 Euros) (Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Sophie Walker)