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ABF acquires Acetum, the leading producer of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena


11 September 2017

Associated British Foods plc (“ABF”) today confirms it has reached agreement to acquire Acetum S.p.A., the leading Italian producer of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (BVM), one of the most well-known vinegars in the world, which has been granted European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status due to its unique manufacturing tradition and provenance, as well as its high quality.

Acetum was founded by Cesare Mazzetti and Marco Bombarda and is based in the Province of Modena in Northern Italy, the region traditionally associated with balsamic vinegar. Cesare Mazzetti will remain as Presidente and Marco Bombarda will continue as a director of the business. Acetum’s brands include Mazzetti, which is the leading brand in Germany and Australia, as well as Acetum and Fini. It also produces a range of apple vinegars and other condiments and sells its products to more than 60 countries around the world. The business generated net sales of €103 million in the year ended 31 December 2016. Completion of the transaction is subject to anti-trust clearance in Germany and Austria.

George Weston, Chief Executive of Associated British Foods said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to be the custodian of an Italian product with such a great reputation and we have ambitious plans to grow it throughout the world.”

Cesare Mazzetti, Presidente of Acetum said: “This deal confirms that companies with European PGI status such as Acetum are very attractive to international groups. ABF has a great reputation for nurturing family businesses and I look forward to working together in the future.”

Notes to editors

  1. Associated British Foods (ABF) is a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £13.4bn and 130,000 employees in 50 countries. It has significant businesses in Europe, southern Africa, the Americas, China and Australia. It aims to achieve strong, sustainable leadership positions in markets that offer potential for profitable growth, and deliver quality products and services that are central to people’s lives. The group operates in five business segments: Sugar, Agriculture, Retail, Grocery and Ingredients.

    ABF has substantial businesses in Italy, employing over 2,500 people. These include Twinings tea, the retailer Primark and AB Mauri Italy. Twinings of London, which is the market leader in tea in Italy, is best known for its wide range of flavoured and unflavoured black teas?. These include the world-renowned English Breakfast and Earl Grey blends. Twinings has also just launched a new range of herbal teas, under the Infuso brand.

    Primark opened its first store in Italy in Arese on the outskirts of Milan in April 2016 and now also has stores in Florence, Brescia and Verona. AB Mauri Italy, with sales in excess of €55m, is a leading company devoted to the baking industry, supplying craft bakers, industrial bakers and retailers. AB Mauri operates in Italy from two major sites: one in Casteggio (PV) which produces both fresh and dry yeast and one in Caselle Lurani (LO) which produces Bakery Ingredients.

  2. Acetum is the global leader in Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (BVM). It also makes glazes and wine and apple vinegars. Its key brands are Mazzetti which is number one in Germany and Australia, along with Acetum and Fini (which is licensed for vinegars). Its products sell in over 60 countries around the world, with the largest markets being the US and Germany. Acetum employs around 150 people on 5 sites in and around Modena in Northern Italy.

    Balsamic Vinegar di Modena has the status of Protected European Geographical Indication (PGI) due to its unique provenance and high quality. It is a combination of grape must and wine vinegar and is aged and blended in the Modena region and meets certain quality standards.