Gateley Legal advises Italian food group on merger

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Gateley Legal’s corporate, tax and private client teams have advised the shareholders of the Besana group on the sale of 51% of the group to International Food and Beverage company, Importaco S.A.  

Founded in 1921, Naples-based Besana is highly regarded in Europe for the marketing, innovation and production of nuts, dried fruit and seeds. Over the last century, the company has grown consistently by expanding its product range, enlarging its geographic reach across continents and widening its customer base.

The sale to Importaco, which exchanged in July and completed on 2 September, will further strengthen Besana’s international presence and specialisation as a manufacturer and supplier of high-quality food products, whilst also consolidating their position in this space. Both family owned businesses, Besana and Importaco will bring together more than a hundred years’ industry experience. 

Corporate partner at Gateley Legal, Steven Raize, led the transaction with support from Oliver Harker (corporate partner), Katherine Hornsby (corporate associate), Jennifer Phillips (corporate solicitor), James Gopsill (tax partner), Richard Clitherow (tax legal director) and Catriona Attride (private client partner). 

James Gopsill advised on the pre-sale restructuring of the Besana Group and Catriona Attride provided personal tax and IHT advice. James and Catriona coordinated the tax advice across the UK, Spanish and Italian tax jurisdictions.  

Steven commented: "Having worked with Pino and Besana for a number of years we were really pleased to have advised the shareholders on this transaction and reach agreement on this merger notwithstanding the disruption caused by COVID-19. This is an important strategic move for Besana – integrating the skills, experience and knowledge of these two companies will really help to leverage their internationalisation, and we very much look forward to following their future success."

Pino Calcagni, honorary president of Besana commented: "The team at Gateley were highly efficient and worked really hard to ensure this transaction ran smoothly and successfully. It was reassuring to have their support and legal advice throughout this significant time of change for our business. 

I’m pleased to say that our family will remain at the heart of the leadership team at the newly emerged group. At Besana, Riccardo Calcagni will continue as chief executive officer, and I will be Honorary President. We would like to thank the whole team at Gateley Legal for all their hard work, commercially orientated advice and dedication.”

UBS (Italy) provided Corporate Finance advice to the Besana shareholders.  Importaco were advised by PWC (Spain) and Pinsent Masons. 

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