November 21st, 2018 | Press Releases

Ambienta, the largest European sustainability focussed fund, enters the food industry with AromataGroup

by Ambienta

Milan, November 21, 2018 – Ambienta SGR, Europe’s largest sustainability focussed Private Equity investor, announces the acquisition of AromataGroup, a leading manufacturer of natural flavours and colours for applications in the food and beverage, pharma, nutraceutical and cosmetics industries.

Ambienta recognises the sector’s potential for growth due to an increasing demand for natural flavours and colours driven by growing concerns around synthetic ingredients, coupled with increased regulation in the EU and US. The colourant and flavours market is growing rapidly. The market is worth over €12 billion and is forecasted to grow by 3- 4% CAGR over the next five years, underpinned by long-term sustainable growth drivers.

Founded in 2011, AromataGroup – which comprises the former companies Variati Aromi, Select Alimenta, Emans Derivati Aromatici and Florio Colori – provides a market leading product range alongside the flexibility and customer service orientation typical of a small-medium enterprise. AromataGroup owns three production plants in Northern Italy with a total of 120 employees, providing products for 1,200 customers across 50 countries. In 2018 the group expects to record a total of €30 million revenues and €5 million EBITDA.

This acquisition marks the commencement of the investment strategy of Ambienta Fund 3, which had a first and final closing in May at €635m.

Natural flavours and colours account for more than 60% of Aromata’s sales enjoying a steady growth in sales higher than 10% year-on-year since 2016. AromataGroup is well positioned to capture this growing demand for more sustainable food flavours and colours. The group continues to invest significantly to expand its range of offerings and intends to leverage the current market opportunity to diversify into adjacent markets such as savoury ingredients, as well as expanding internationally, primarily through acquisitions.

Hans Udo Wenzel, President of AromataGroup, commented: “Our industry is still fragmented, with an array of small, regional players leaving space for further consolidation. Within such environment, thanks to Ambienta, AromataGroup intends to continue its growth trajectory, with an ambition to become an international player offering a market-leading portfolio of natural flavours, colours and specialty ingredients. The current management will continue to run the operations and will remain significant shareholders of the Group”

Mauro Roversi, Partner & Chief Investment Officer at Ambienta, commented: “The acquisition of AromataGroup marks Ambienta’s first entry into the food industry, demonstrating that sustainability-driven investment approaches add value to a broad range of sectors and industries. The food and beverage industry is being radically transformed by increasing consumer awareness towards food sustainability and health. Our objective is to further accelerate the transition towards more sustainable products to position AromataGroup as a market leader. In this sense, new acquisitions are a fundamental part of our strategy.”