China's Bright Food buys majority stake in Italian olive oil group

MILAN (Reuters) - Bright Food [SHMNGA.UL], China’s second-largest food conglomerate, said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy a majority stake in Italian olive oil group Salov, which owns the Sagra and Filippo Berio brands.

In a statement, the Chinese group said it bought the stake from the Fontana family, who will retain a minority stake in it. They did not reveal the details of the deal.

Salov, which produces olive oil, seed oil and related products in over 60 countries, generates annual sales worth 330 million euros ($417 million). It is market leader in Britain and the United States with its two brands.

“This investment in Italy responds to Bright Food’s plan to direct Chinese people’s habits toward a healthy nutrition lifestyle, such as the Mediterranean diet,” the Chinese group said in a statement, adding it will support Salov in its international expansion.

The olive oil group will keep its production in Italy.

The financial advisors of the transaction were ING and Sinaxia for the buyer, Citic Securities and Mediobanca for the Fontana family.

Reporting by Francesca Landini and Stefano Rebaudo; Editing by Greg Mahlich