Bernardi family purchases 50% share in Golfetto

by Teresa Acklin
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In an agreement believed to create the second-largest milling engineering group in the world, the Bernardi family, which owns Sangati Berga S.p.A., Quinto di Treviso, Italy, has purchased a 50% share in Golfetto S.p.A. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Interbanca, the merchant banking arm of Banca Antoniana Veneta, also increased its holdings in Golfetto to 25%. The Italian Private Equity Fund II, a private fund of the U.K.-based Electra Fleming, will retain 25%.

The agreement creates a milling engineering group with annual sales of U.S.$120 million and greatly strengthens the market position of both companies, according to a joint statement issued by Renato Bernardi, chairman of Sangati Berga, and Marco Rinaldi, managing director of Golfetto.

"Golfetto will become more responsive, cost competitive and offer a broader range of services, to the benefit of our customer base," Mr. Rinaldi said. "This agreement will enable us to develop and increase our share of a worldwide market which is not likely to expand significantly in the foreseeable future."

Within days of the announcement, Golfetto signed contracts for several mill projects in Sweden, France, Russia and Uzbekistan.

Under the agreement, Sangati Berga and Golfetto each will remain independent and will be managed by their current administrative structures and marketing networks. However, the two companies have agreed to coordinate their marketing and services to avoid competing against each other.

Equipment manufactured by only one of the two companies will be made available to the other for marketing, including port unloading facilities and animal feed mills manufactured by Berga but not by Golfetto.

"The added strength of a differentiated range of equipment, through Golfetto and Sangati, will enable us to competitively tackle both developing and first world countries," Mr. Rinaldi said.

The group will have offices or representatives in over 80 countries worldwide, with manufacturing facilities on two continents.

Golfetto formerly was the milling equipment segment of Braibanti Golfetto S.p.A., Padova. In March, Braibanti Golfetto was split into two separate units and sold to new owners (see World Grain, April 1999, page 57).

Golfetto, the milling equipment segment, was acquired by B&S Electra, Milan, Italy, in conjunction with Italian Private Equity Fund II, while Sasib, a Parma, Italy-based manufacturer of baking and packaging equipment, acquired the Braibanti and Simer divisions.