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Importaco, a Spanish food company, integrates Besana through the acquisition of a 51% stake in the Italian company, the UK’s third largest B2B nut and dried fruit company by turnover, thus reinforcing its international presence and specialisation in natural food products (hazelnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts and seeds).

Importaco will reinforce Besana’s footprint in the UK. Besana is considered a supplier of the highest quality to the UK’s multiple retailer market, particularly within the Produce and Seasonal supply categories.

The press release is below. Photos and further information available on request.

About Importaco & Besana:
- In 2019, Importaco reported sales of €584 million (+8%), of which €519 million came from the nuts business + €65 million from its Natural Drinks business.
- Following the integration, the Group will have cumulative sales of €770 million, 1,950 employees, factories in five countries, a purchase volume of 123,000 tons, and more than 600 suppliers.
- Besana reported Group sales of €185 million, with UK revenue for 2019/20 equating to £86.3 million. Besana currently employs 450 people, with more than 60 people in the UK based at the Ipswich factory.
- Besana’s presence in the UK began in the mid 1980's with a Marketing Office, thereafter, establishing its first factory of operations in the Cotswolds in the early 1990's. Besana moved to new offices and a factory in Ipswich near the port of Felixstowe in 2014. 10.1 metric tons of product are packed and distributed in Ipswich for the UK market.
- Besana has been a supplier to the UK market since 1935.
- Besana’s existing major B2B clients are Sainsbury’s; Tesco; Waitrose; Marks & Spencer; Morrison’s, amongst others.

GlobalData reports suggest:
- The UK nuts and seeds category is expected to reach £726.2 million by 2022, growing at a rate of 6.2% (2017–2022).
- 2020 figure = £642.1
- In volume terms, this produce category is expected to reach 52.7 million kg by 2022, growing at a rate of 1.6% (2017–2022).
- 2020 figure = 51.1 million kg



Partnership will enable greater international reach and specialisation in the nuts and dried fruit market

• The Spanish food company, Importaco, is buying a 51% stake in the Italian company Besana, reinforcing its international presence and specialisation in natural food products such as hazelnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, peanuts and seeds.

• Besana and Importaco distribute to the retail and ingredients markets. Following the transaction they will complement each other's offering in the markets of Southern Europe (Spain and Italy), the United Kingdom, Central Europe (Germany and Poland), and Scandinavia.

• Through this consolidation, both companies are reinforcing their competitive edge in the nuts market, thanks to the quality of their products, processes, and enhanced production capability.

• The merger creates the European Leader in nuts, dried fruit and seeds for sourcing, industrial & commercial capability.

Ipswich, 21st July 2020 - The Spanish food company Importaco ( has signed a deal with the Italian company Besana (, to buy 51% of the company's share capital. The goal is to strengthen its specialisation in natural food products while consolidating its international presence.

The deal will enable the Group to reinforce its competitive position as the European leader in the nuts and dried fruits market, with presence in markets including Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland and Scandinavia.


Importaco and Besana are family-owned companies with over a hundred years' consolidated experience in the nuts industry. They share a customer-oriented and healthy eating approach. Their business model is based on product quality, process efficiency, and high production capacity through their network of factories.

Importaco specialises in the nuts and natural drinks business. It distributes to the retail segment in the Spanish market as a Mercadona supplier. It also operates in the agro-food industry ingredients markets, and in the foodservice market for the hotel and catering industry through other distributors. Toño Pons will be the Chairman of the new group following the integration.

Besana specialises in nuts, dried fruit and seeds, with a strong focus on quality and innovation. It is a leader in research and development, and as a result, has an extensive range of products and packaging. The company mainly distributes to the retail segment and has a strong presence in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavian and Eastern European countries, as well as Italy. The Besana-Calcagni family will belong to Group leadership team following the integration. Riccardo Calcagni has been confirmed as Chief Executive Officer and Pino Calcagni as Honorary President of Besana.

Competitive advantage

The combination of Importaco and Besana's two complementary business models consolidates the leadership in the European nuts business into a Group with strong competitive advantage in value chain integration, industrial network, and the potential for increased sales.

The merger fosters a leadership underpinned by the partners' shared vision, and backed by an established track-record linked to differential values in its activity, such as food safety, quality, innovation, sustainability and market knowledge.

The transaction therefore ensures the Group's sustainable long-term growth, and strengthens its position in the European market with a number of competitive advantages:

- An integrated value chain that boosts the volume of purchases while increasing product quality and variety.
- A powerful industrial network that increases production capacity and flexibility, and raises quality through specialisation. The Group has a network of 17 factories located in different European countries, allowing for a more efficient logistics set-up.
- Substantially larger supply in the natural products and healthy food segments, nuts, dried fruits and seeds, chocolate nuts and dried fruit.
- Complementary distribution channels that strengthen business in the retail and ingredients markets.

Internationalisation and specialisation

"Through this transaction, we are consolidating our sustainable growth project based on quality and innovation, and leveraging our internationalisation and specialisation in natural products and healthy foodstuffs," said Toño Pons, President of Importaco. "We are creating a strong group with a solid competitive position, both in Spain and in other European markets, with a high growth potential", he added.

Pino Calcagni, President of Besana, said: "In the current scenario, the globalisation of new markets and the development of synergies to improve economies of scale are becoming key commercial factors. The Importaco Group is the ideal strategic partner to achieve these objectives and create value throughout the supply chain."

Key Figures

Following the integration, the Group has cummulative sales of €770 million, 1,950 employees, 17 factories in 5 countries, a purchase volume of 123,000 tons and more than 600 suppliers.

Transaction Advisors

PwC is acting as advisor of Importaco. UBS is acting as advisor to Besana with collaboration of Falco & Associati.

The integration will finish in October 2020 after the compliance of some regulatory requirements.

About Importaco
Importaco is a food company founded in 1940 with two main lines of business: Nuts and Natural Drinks. The company’s corporate purpose is to improve people’s health and well-being, while ensuring responsible production and consumption. Importaco closed 2019 with a turnover of €584 million, a sales volume of more than 90,000 tons of nuts, and 724 million liters of mineral water, with a workforce of 1,400 people. The company has eight nuts production centres and four water bottling plants in Spain, one production centre in Poland, and another of dried fruits in Turkey.

About Besana
Besana is an international group specialised in nuts, dried fruit, seeds and chocolate. Besana has its roots in 1921 and has always been led by the Besana-Calcagni family. The Besana headquarters are in San Gennaro Vesuviano (Naples, Italy). The innovative Group also has a chocolate facility in Ogliastro (Italy) and a plant in Ipswich (UK). It operates in five continents, importing raw materials from 30 countries and processing more than 32,000 tons of nuts, dried fruit and seeds annually.

Besana, founder of INC, is one of the founding members of AlmaverdeBio, the first organic brand in Italy. In 2019, Besana achieved a turnover of 185 million euros. The workforce totals 550 people.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I can be contacted at +44 7985-134-718 or at

Connor Sadler
Client Executive
Atticus Communications
100 Pall Mall, St. James
London, SW1Y 5NQ
Tel: +44 207 3213735
Mobile: +44 7985 134 718