What does it take to make Italy’s fourth largest mineral water company effervescent? Acquiring Tuscany-based chocolate maker Amedei, known for its gourmet chocolate bars, truffles and chocolate products, would certainly make anyone bubbly.
According to Reuters, Milan-based Ferrarelle SpA purchased Amedei from Singapore's Octopus Europe Limited fund and Amedei’s shareholders on Monday. Cecilia Tessieri, the company’s founder and "maitre chocolatier" will continue to work at Amedei.
She started the company in 1990, initially producing truffles in a 45-sq.-meter shop with one employee. Since then Tessieri has tirelessly worked to expand her knowledge and expertise. In 1998, the company started producing the first Amedei bars, which were named for Tessieri’s maternal grandmother’s maiden name.
In keeping with her motto, “Quality is founded on discipline, knowledge and respect,” the chocolatier helped promote the cru (single-origin) concept, using fine-flavored cocoa beans from plantations in Jamaica, Venezuela, Ecuador and Madagascar.
The company has garnered several prestigious awards for chocolates, including six Golden Bean awards from the London-based Academy of Chocolate. The Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals and today has become one of the most prestigious awards for elite chocolate producers.
Ferrarelle became a 100-percent Italian-owned company in 2005 when LGR Holding S.p.A. acquired Italaquae SpA from the Danone Group. It subsequently changed its name to Ferrarelle SpA, reflecting the famous naturally effervescent mineral water brand dating back to 1893.
The company, which is controlled by the Pontecorvo family, is on the lookout for further possible deals.
"We do not rule out possible (acquisition) opportunities in the future linked to traditional "Made in Italy" delicacies," Michele Pontecorvo Ricciardi told Reuters.