Food and Beverage Business
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Nestlé offloads French pizza site to Italpizza

Nestlé offloads French pizza site to Italpizza Nestlé Food and Beverage Business

The sale of Nestlé’s pizza manufacturing plant in France to Italy’s Italpizza has been confirmed. The plant was at the center of a fatal E. coli outbreak and has been sold for an undisclosed amount to Italpizza, with an allocation of over €12m for investment in modernization work extending to 2028. The new French subsidiary, Mantua, will handle the operations at the Caudry plant. The resumption of production is planned for this autumn, with Italpizza announcing the securing of deals for production volumes and the start of a process of recruiting around 20 employees. The production staff will be recruited in a second phase, with plans to hire around 140 employees before the end of 2028.

The acquisition of Italpizza has been considered as part of the company’s internationalization project that is aiming to serve growing markets. The deal could be finalized by the start of 2024 after consultation with staff. The Switzerland-based company said in a statement three months ago that a deal for the sale could be finalised following consultation with staff.

The food maker Nestlé had to close the plant in the Hauts-de-France region in the wake of the E. coli outbreak in 2022. An internal investigation at the plant confirmed “the most likely hypothesis: flour contamination by E. coli STEC bacteria”. The Caudry site was excluded from a deal Nestlé subsequently struck to run its pizza business in Europe with PAI Partners.

Italpizza, founded in 1991, has six factories supplying more than 60 markets and has a turnover of around €400m, employing more than 1,700 workers.

The acquisition of the Caudry plant is integral to Italpizza’s internationalization project and strategic growth within the northern European markets.

The company had earlier announced the closure of the plant and the investigation into the E. coli outbreak. Moreover, the world’s largest food maker – behind brands such as KitKat chocolate and Maggi sauces, said it was closing the plant and the results of an internal investigation at the plant confirmed “the most likely hypothesis: flour contamination by E. coli STEC bacteria”.

The deal comes after the closure of the plant in the wake of an E. coli outbreak that led to dozens of children falling sick after eating contaminated food – and two died. In April 2022, the Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into alleged involuntary manslaughter. According to health officials, output at the factory ceased five days later.

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