PARMA, ITALY — Barilla, the world’s largest pasta maker, is broadening its portfolio with the acquisition of Pasta Evangelists from Guinness EIS. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, though various media reports suggest the purchase price is approximately €40 million.
Founded in 2017 by Alessandro Savelli with a focus on providing fresh pasta direct to homes around the United Kingdom, Pasta Evangelists specializes in fresh, artisan pasta and sauces. The company’s ingredients are sourced seasonally and sustainably from a network of small farmers and growers across Italy.
Pasta Evangelists’ products are available in retail channels and online through such sites as Deliveroo, Ocado and Amazon. According to the company, sales increased by more than 300% during 2020.
Pasta Evangelists will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity led by Mr. Savelli, chief executive officer, and co-founders Chris Rennoldson and Finn Lagun. All three will remain significant shareholders in the company.
“This acquisition represents a new step of our international growth, especially in the UK, and our willingness to invest in new marketing and sales approaches, up to digital as a priority platform for interacting with consumers,” Barilla said. “Our industrial expertise and over 100 years of experience in producing good, quality food will support Pasta Evangelists’ growth plans in the UK and, in the future, internationally. And Pasta Evangelists will give us the opportunity to consolidate in the UK thanks to its premium, high-quality products and a business model projected into the future of the purchase and consumption of pasta.”
Guinness Asset Management invested £3 million into Pasta Evangelists between 2018 and 2020.
“The sale of our stake in Pasta Evangelists provides evidence of our ongoing ability to procure quality deal flow and successful exits for our investors,” said Malcolm King, fund manager at Guinness. “We have enjoyed working alongside founders and management to help them realize their growth aspirations and look forward to hearing of their greater success having now handed the funding baton to Barilla.”