“Candy Factory” is born, a new Italian confectionary pole

Casa del dolce is waiting for you in Cologne
11 April 2023

VS SGR S.p.A. and Clessidra Capital Credit SGR S.p.A. have created the Candy Factory Group, favoring the aggregation of two historic Italian industrial companies in the confectionery sector such as Casa del Dolce and Liking (already participated by FVS SGR since December 2021). The investment is shared with Castellazzi (founder of Casa del Dolce) and Corno (founder of Liking) families, who will remain shareholders with a qualified minority stake in Candy Factory.

As part of a shared governance, the industrial objective of the financial and industrial partners of Candy Factory is to create an Italian pole in the confectionery sector, leveraging on the complementarity of the two realities from a production and commercial point of view. In fact, the project provides for an integration of the product portfolio able to satisfy every customer need thanks to a complete and transversal range, from the children’s world to the professional and adult.

Candy Factory’s growth plan also envisages the strengthening of the commercial area, expansion into new channels and geographical areas, the development of innovative references in line with market trends, as well as growth both through M&A operations in the reference sector and in adjacent sectors, and through aggregation projects and collaboration with other companies complementary in terms of product range and market positioning.

Candy Factory will also pursue a plan for greater integration of ESG processes at all stages of corporate life.

Candy Factory expects to close 2022 with a turnover of approximately €45 million, a strong increase compared to 2021; more than 35% of the Group’s sales are made abroad.

Piergianni Castellazzi, President of Casa del Dolce, said: “Through participation in this operation, we are convinced that we can give Casa del Dolce further possibilities and development paths. Thanks to the solid foundations built over years of great commitment and dedication by shareholders and the entire workforce, the company will be co-protagonist of an ambitious project of growth and consolidation of its market leadership”.

Liking Chairman Pierluca Corno added: “It is very gratifying, less than a year after FVS’ investment in Liking’s capital, to have managed to achieve the goal we had set ourselves, namely to structure an important aggregation operation. In recent months we have shared a challenging development project with Casa del Dolce; I am sure that this combination will strengthen both companies, thanks to important industrial and mostly all commercial synergies”.

Fabrizio Spagna, President of FVS, said: “We are pleased to have been able to integrate two healthy and well-managed industrial realities with technologically advanced machinery and highly automated plants; but, above all well-defined ideas and positioning strategies. These fundamentals will allow in the coming years to achieve important growth paths in a sector that well supports aggregation operations.

FVS assisted Corno family a year ago by investing in Liking and is pleased to expand the industrial project to Castellazzi family and Clessidra to face a new and challenging development path that will also reserve great satisfaction for the team of investors of our SME Fund 2 “.

Mario Fera, CEO of Clessidra Capital Credit SGR, concluded: “We are pleased to support – as shareholders and backers – this ambitious industrial project and contribute to the creation of a hub for the aggregation of medium-sized Italian companies operating in the confectionery sector and complementary in the range of products offered. The transaction represents the first investment for our Clessidra Private Debt fund, through which we propose ourselves as a financial partner capable of offering a range of flexible and hybrid solutions (in this case venture capital and subordinated debt) to entrepreneurs and managers with industrial projects of sustainable growth. As part of the investment, a roadmap of commitments has also been defined by Candy Factory in achieving specific ESG objectives”.

Casa del Dolce S.p.A. is a company active in the confectionery sector founded in 1950 and controlled by the second generation of Castellazzi family. The flagship product is the “Trinketto” the original liquid candy now distributed in over 50 countries. In addition, there are other products made internally (the “Ciuccetto” and popcorn) and products distributed on the Italian territory for foreign brands, mainly intended for the children’s world.

The widespread distribution network allows Casa del Dolce to reach all sales channels with over 2,000 active customers and 500 active references. The Company currently employs about 45 resources and operates on two sites (a production site equipped with highly automated systems and a new administrative and logistics headquarters).

The industrial project for the coming years foresees growth with the aim of increasing production capacity, increasing market share in the markets served, entering new geographical areas as well as enriching the product range with new brands and references.

Liking S.p.A. is a company active in the production and marketing of hard and stuffed candies, toffee, tablets and organic candies, both under its own brand and private label, with a clientele mainly represented by important Italian large-scale retailers and some foreign distributors (exports equal to about 30% of total revenues).

The Company currently employs about 40 resources and operates on a 16,000 square meter plant with highly automated production facilities. The industrial project for the coming years foresees growth with the aim of increasing market share in the markets served, entering new geographical areas and new sales channels, as well as enriching the product range with new references in line with market trends.