| MILAN, March 31
MILAN, March 31 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)