Zafferano welcomes fund Gradiente as new shareholder
The private equity fund “Gradiente II”, run by Gradiente SGR, has completed its investment in Zafferano S.r.l., a group operating in the design, production and distribution of lighting systems and glass, ceramic and porcelain tableware products. The deal marks the company’s seventh transaction.
Since 2018 and, more specifically, since the launching of the innovative “Poldina” lamp, which soon became an iconic product of the Zafferano group, the company has been acknowledged as a key player in the market segment of LED and wireless lighting. With an expected consolidated turnover at the close of 2021 of more than 30 million euros, the group is well-established in the Italian market and in central European countries. In setting up Zafferano LLC in 2019, the company started a process of market penetration in North America. With its network of distributors and agents, the company caters to B2C retailers, lighting specialists, restaurants and hotels. Zafferano has recently opened its own single-brand showroom in Milan.
Gradiente II, together with co-investors Qualitas Equity, has acquired a 70% stake in the company. The remaining 30% is held by the companies belonging respectively to the founder of Zafferano, Federico de Majo, and the Zobele family.
The transaction is intended to seize the many important opportunities the sector offers regarding various aspects: extending the product portfolio while developing new and innovative lighting solutions, penetrating strategically interesting markets not yet covered, as well as developing digital technology.
“In joining the corporate structure of Zafferano, Gradiente will help the company I founded in 2001 to further develop and strengthen its domestic and international presence. The strategy will be based on continuing the company’s consolidation plan in the sector in Italy and abroad, and the further extension of the product range. This merger begins a new chapter in the history of Zafferano, enabling the company to benefit from significant opportunities in line with my original business project. I chose Gradiente as a partner because it has proven its ability to manage the acquired companies in a skilful manner that respects their history, their founding values and the network of consolidated partnerships. A special thank you goes to my staff for their huge commitment and effort during these years of exciting growth,” commented Federico de Majo, founder of Zafferano, who will continue as the President and CEO, ensuring seamless management.
“Zafferano is an excellent Italian group operating in a market featuring favourable business dynamics and interesting financial foundations. In recent years, Zafferano has experienced remarkable growth, repositioning itself as a lifestyle brand partly thanks to introducing a collection of portable lamps, including “Poldina”, with an offer of a product assortment that shares the same DNA, including glass and ceramic tableware and lighting systems. We are delighted to support Zafferano in this new development project aimed at seizing the many growth opportunities offered by the sector: strengthening the group’s leadership position in the European and US markets and launching a digital transformation process to support e-commerce channel development,” commented Carlo Bortolozzo, Founding Partner of Gradiente SGR.
The Gradiente team that oversaw the transaction consisted of Pietro Busnardo, Carlo Bortolozzo, Lorena Lorenzon and Marika Savegnago. As part of the transaction, Gradiente was assisted by NCTM Advant Studio Legale for contractual matters, legal due diligence and negotiation of the financing agreement, PwC for accounting due diligence, GoetzPartners for business due diligence, Studio Russo de Rosa e Associati for tax due diligence and Gruppo Scudo for environmental due diligence. The sellers were assisted by Grant Thornton as the financial advisor, by the law firm Chiomenti for legal assistance and by the law firms Professionisti d’Impresa Di Santo Favaro, and Studio Sartori for accounting and tax matters. Notary assistance was provided by Studio Notarile Doria. The acquisition transaction was financed by Credit Agricole.