MILAN, ITALY — CSM Ingredients has acquired Parma, Italy-based Hi-Food, which specializes in the research, development and production of natural origin ingredients. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2012 by Giampaolo Cagnin, Massimo Ambanelli and Emanuele Pizzigalli — in close collaboration with the University of Parma — Hi-Food has since grown by developing innovative solutions in the world of functional ingredients for the plant-based and clean label food industry. The company is in the process of completing the construction of one of the most modern and advanced plants for the production and processing of natural, plant-based ingredients, free of allergens and synthetic additives. The new facility is located in Pilastro di Langhirano (near Parma) and will be equipped with a permanent high-tech extrusion research center. The plant also will offer some of the most advanced development and application services in Europe, including a coordinated group of pilot structures, experimental kitchens and industrial machines that will be able to create product prototypes and new foods, Hi-Food said.

As part of the transaction, the shareholders of Hi-Food have agreed to reinvest their proceeds into CSM Ingredients, also taking on important roles in the areas of R&D and commercial management.

“We are delighted that a new partnership has been created, with our support, between CSM Ingredients and Giampaolo Cagnin and his excellent team at Hi-Food,” said Andrea C. Bonomi, chairman of Investindustrial’s industrial advisory board. Investindustrial  acquired CSM in April 2021. “The research and development that has distinguished Hi-Food since its foundation is a perfect complement to the industrial platform that we began to build in the ingredients sector with the acquisition of CSM Ingredients in April 2021. Investindustrial has taken a long-term interest in the evolution of the sectors surrounding food sustainability, such as food production, ingredients, nutritional supplements, packaging and closures. Over the last five years, we have made eight new platform investments in these sectors investing €1.5 billion of equity. Those companies have in turn made another 11 add-on acquisitions, and currently employ a total of approximately 10,300 employees.”

Mr. Cagnin, founder of Hi-Food, who will join the advisory board of CSM Ingredients, added, “The scientific approach and Hi-Food innovations will find in CSM Ingredients an ideal launching pad and reciprocal multiplication of value. With Investindustrial’s determination to help shaping the ingredients industry towards a more sustainable future, I consider this to be a perfect alliance with extraordinary potential for value creation.”

CSM Ingredients has more than 1,400 employees, three research and innovation centers, eight production plants and two open-innovation hubs.