The hybrid market-restaurant chain Eataly was acquired. / Photo: Shutterstock
The “Made in Italy”-focused chain Eataly has been acquired by British investment firm Investindustrial VII LP, which plans to expand the hybrid/restaurant market globally, the company announced on Wednesday.
Investindustrial has invested 200 million euros, or approximately $198 million, and will take a 52% stake, becoming majority shareholder, with existing shareholders holding the remaining shares. Existing shareholders include Eatinvest, owned by the founding Farinetti family, as well as the Baffingo/Miroglio family and Tamburi Investment Partners, represented by Clubitaly.
The deal will also allow Investindustrial to acquire all minority shares in Eataly’s existing US stores, including the two in New York and units in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas and Silicon Valley. Eataly in Las Vegas at Park MGM is owned by MGM Resorts International and managed by Eataly.
The investment will allow Eataly to repay its net financial debt and maximize financial flexibility for global expansion plans, the company said.
Current CEO Nicola Farinetti, son of founder Oscar Farinetti, will become chairman. The company said a new CEO would be announced shortly.
The North America locations, which include an Eataly in Toronto, are led by New York-based chief operating officer Raffaele Piarulli, who will remain in that role.
Based in Monticello D’Alba in Cuneo, Eataly is a hybrid marketplace and hub for Italian cuisine and dining with eight locations in the United States and 44 locations worldwide in 15 countries.
In addition to selling fresh and imported Italian ingredients, each store is also home to multiple dining venues ranging from casual Italian eateries to upscale eateries.
The brand was once associated with celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali, who was a minority shareholder and helped bring the brand to the United States. Batali faced multiple charges of sexual misconduct, beginning in 2017, and Eataly cut all ties with the chef in 2018 and divested. its actions in 2019.
Investindustrial claims investments of more than €2.5 billion in the food sector, including private labels like La Doria, meal preparation company Treehouse Foods and a restaurant chain called Dispensa Emilia.
Andrea Bonomi, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Investindustrial, said in a statement: “We are delighted to be able to support Eataly, an example of Italian excellence in the world, as a long-term partner. Thanks to the vision and entrepreneurial capacity of the Farinetti family, Eataly represents a unique and innovative player that has led the revolution in the concept of high quality Italian cuisine all over the world.
The plan is to expand Eataly in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, where the group has a presence with 16 franchise locations, the company said.
Nicola Farinetti said in a statement that this partnership will propel the brand into a new phase of international growth.
“This partnership will allow us to strengthen our unique format in the world, promote innovative projects related to innovation and improve our capabilities,” he said. “We are happy to take this new path with such a reputable partner as Investindustrial, who shares the values and vision of Eataly, and has chosen to support us in achieving our goal of being the Italian ambassador of the “ Made in Italy” in the world. ”
This story originally appeared in WGB’s sister publication, Restaurant Business.