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Sat 15 Nov 2014 03:52 PM

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Qatari, Italian funds make $205m investment in Italian food

The joint venture will buy a 28.4 percent stake in Inalca, currently wholly owned by Italian food producer and caterer Cremonini

Qatari, Italian funds make $205m investment in Italian food

State-backed Italian and Qatari investors are to buy a 165 million euro ($205 million) stake in Inalca, expanding the Italian meat producer's overseas markets in the first such deal by the two investment partners.

Under the deal signed at the weekend, the IQ Made in Italy joint venture will buy a 28.4 percent stake in Inalca, currently wholly owned by Italian food producer and caterer Cremonini.

Italian state-backed private equity fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) and Qatar Holding, a fund created by the Qatar Investment Authority, set up the joint venture in March 2013 to invest in a range of Italian companies in the food, fashion and luxury, tourism and leisure sectors.

The joint venture was agreed in 2012 as part of Italy's efforts to tap Qatar's vast wealth to support national industries struggling to finance their way out of recession.

"With this investment we aim to support the distribution of food 'made in Italy' abroad," Maurizio Tamagnini, FSI chief executive. Inalca could also devote part of the new funds to acquisitions, Cremonini said in a joint statement with FSI.

Lawyer firm Latham & Watkins advised FSI and Qatar Investment Authority in the deal. It took the two investors around 18 months to finalise their first joint transaction.

FSI, which has a similar arrangement with Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, last week announced a 76 million euro investment in the Rocco Forte hotels group with the Kuwait Investment Authority.

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