Bialetti Industrie working with Studio Zulli to find new investor to succeed Sculptor - sources

10 September 2020 - 06:03 am UTC

by Micaela Osella and Valentina Caiazzo in Milan

Bialetti Industrie [BIT:BIA], a Sculptor Capital Management-backed Italian coffee-machine manufacturer, is working with advisor Studio Zulli to find a new investor, several sources told Mergermarket.


Sculptor (formerly Och-Ziff Capital Management Group) owns a 19.6% stake in Bialetti and is mulling an exit,  a source close to and four sources familiar with the situation said. Also, the company's creditor banks - which include UnicreditBNL and Intesa San Paolo - are calling for a change in Bialetti's shareholder structure, the sources said.


Bialetti, which generates EUR 100m turnover with EUR 5m EBITDA, is contacting potential investors, the sources said, although no discussions are currently taking place. The company is likely to find a new investor by the end of the year, they added. 


Last November, Bialetti announced a EUR 6.5m capital increase, part of a wider restructuring effort that included bonds underwritten by Sculptor and a new EUR 10m debt facility to part-fund its industrial plan to 2023,  as reported by Mergermarket sister publication, Debtwire. The plan increases Bialetti's focus on promoting and selling higher profit-margin products, including in the coffee segment, as reported.


Sculptor underwrote EUR 4.2m of the capital increase via its Sculptor Ristretto investment vehicle, bringing its stake in Bialetti to 19.6%. Entrepreneur Francesco Renzoni owns a 45% stake via Bialetti Holding, while investors such as Diego Della Valle and AZ Fund Management retain 6.9% and 5.7%, respectively, according to market regulator Consob's website. The remainder is free floating on the stock market.


In November 2018, Sculptor committed up to EUR 40m to Bialetti as part of the restructuring plan, which was supported by the company's lenders. Under the agreement, Sculptor underwrote bond issues totalling around EUR 35m to facilitate debt-restructuring between Bialetti and its creditor banks, as reported.


Bialetti, BNL, Sculptor, Unicredit and Intesa did not return requests for comment. Studio Zulli declined to comment.