Milan, December 9 2015
Fratelli Pagani Spa, a leading company within the world of spices, flavorings and functional ingredients for the industrial and productive market in Italy, acquired a 93% stake of Cerreto Srl, a primary Italian company active in the organic sector.
Cerreto, founded in 1976 by Gianni Fontana, has its Head Office in Gattatico (Reggio Emilia) in Emilia Romagna region, in the North East of Italy. Cerreto operates in the food market for over twenty years with its brands ‘Cerreto Bio’ and ‘La Collina dei Fiori’, offering a wide range of organic products of the highest quality. Cerreto established itself as one of the most important and complete agro-food companies, with an increasing sensitivity to agriculture sustainability. It offers a huge assortment of products in line with new food trends, reflecting the most renowned and popular tastes of the typical regional and Mediterranean cuisine: herbs, spices, legumes, cereals, seeds, vegetable soups, pasta and risotto flavorings. The Company has had a continuous growth, and will reach a turnover of over 10 million euros by the end of 2015.  

Fratelli Pagani was set up in 1909 in Milan where it has its historical Head Office. Today the Company is led by Marco and Francesco Cardazzi, the fourth generation, who have been managing the growth for the last 15 years. Fratelli Pagani, with a turnover of € 25 million, is the undisputed leader in the field of spices, flavorings and functional ingredients addressed to the meat – and related products. It supplies the major Italian food companies in this sector and it is having a constant growth in foreign markets.
Gianni Fontana (Cerreto) states: “The entrance of Fratelli Pagani is fundamental to pursue a development strategy both on the Italian market and, above all, on the foreign markets … My partners and I created and developed this entity, and today we are aware that the development of our ambitious strategic plan will only be possible with the entry of a new partner. Professionalism, managerial approach, quality attention and most of all strategic vision are the cornerstones of Fratelli Pagani’s success, and they will be also in the future. It will be my great pleasure to lead Cerreto in this challenge for the coming years.”
On his side, Marco Cardazzi (Fratelli Pagani) comments: “We are more than convinced that our growth will also be pursued through a careful plan of acquisitions. After some small acquisitions in our industry we decided to bring our expertise and professionalism in the world of mass consumption, with particular attention to the organic sector. In March we acquired La Collina Toscana, and now there’s the Cerreto acquisition. Cerreto fully embraces our cornerstones like innovation, Made in Italy and highest quality products. This deal establishes our strengthening in the organic sector, a sector in rapid expansion in which we firmly believe, as the basis for future nutrition. We are glad to support the founding partner Gianni Fontana in the process of expansion of Cerreto to which, we are sure, our entrance will give a significant acceleration ”
Gianni Fontana remains in charge, covering the role of CEO, while Marco Cardazzi will be the Chairman. His brother Francesco Cardazzi, Giancarlo Mercati, manager of Cerreto, and Paolo Ragazzi, strategic Advisor during and after the acquisition, will all be part of the Board of Directors.
The deal was conducted by Next Advisor (member of the Crowe Horwath International network) in the person of Paolo Ragazzi as Advisor of Fratelli Pagani, while for the legal and fiscal assistance, Fratelli Pagani was advised by Pietro Carbone. The statutory audit of Cerreto Srl will be entrusted to Crowe Horwath As.