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Italian pasta maker sells non-core bakery business

Barilla Holdings, the Italian pasta maker owned by the founding Barilla family, announced yesterday it plans to sell all of its shares in its subsidiary baking group Kamps GmbH to private equity company Equity Capital Management.

Kamps is the bakery chain of Lieken AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Barilla Iniziative. The sale includes around 900 bakery shops, five plants that supply those shops and 1000 employees from the German part of the business.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but in 2009 Lieken AG had revenues of €1 billion of which around €300 million came from Kamps.

Barilla acquired the Kamps Group via a hostile takeover in 2002 for €1.8 billion. The group included bread manufacturing and distribution holdings in both Germany and France and other retail businesses. Barilla formed Lieken as a holding company for all of Kamps assets. 

According to a company spokesperson, after merging the operations of the two companies, Barilla had earmarked the German Kamps business for sale around two years ago, as it was not part of the core business.

Barilla was founded in 1877 by Pietro Barilla and is still owned and controlled by fourth-generation family members including Maria Barilla who serves as chairman, Luca and Paolo Barilla, who are both deputy chairman and Emanuela Barilla, who is a director. Latest available figures from 2008 put group revenues at €4.5 billion for the company that sells 1,500 products in 125 companies. 

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