April 9, 2019 / 12:44 PM / 9 months ago

Italy's Newlat eyeing Kraft Heinz's Plasmon after IPO

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian food group Newlat, which is planning a Milan listing this year to raise funds for acquisitions, is looking at Kraft Heinz’s Plasmon division.

“Newlat is already a supplier of Plasmon and knows the company well,” said Davide Milano, a partner in consultancy firm Oaklins Italy, who works for the company as an adviser.

Newlat, controlled by Italian family Mastrolia, has completed a string of deals in the past 10 years to boost its annual sales to 350 million euros ($394.28 million) from 20 million euros.

On Tuesday it said it had bought the Delverde pasta brand from Argentina’s Molinos Rio de la Plata, expanding a portfolio which already includes pasta and bakery products maker Buitoni and dairy brands Giglio, Polenghi and Optimus.

The listing would allow Newlat to continue its acquisition campaign to consolidate Made in Italy brands and compete with large multinational groups, Chairman Angelo Mastrolia said.

To be able to buy Plasmon, Newlat would need to be quick in raising funds through a planned initial public offering, the adviser told Reuters.

“Any deal (on Plasmon) would hinge on the timing of the Newlat IPO and how fast Kraft Heinz wants to sell,” Milano said.

Plasmon, which has been put on sale by Kraft Heinz, could be worth around 600 million euros, according press reports.

Newlat was advised by Oaklins Italy and law firm BonelliErede on the 9.25 million euro acquisition of Delverde. Law firm Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners advised Molinos Rio de la Plata.

Newlat has hired Equita, Societe Generale and HSBC as global coordinators for its IPO, a source close to the matter said.

Editing by Valentina Za, David Evans and Jan Harvey

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