The Chinese foods giant Bright Food lands in Tuscany. The group, whose turnover exceeds 17 billion dollars and controls four companies quoted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (Brightdairy, Jinfeng Wine, Shanghai Maling and Shanghai Haibo), has chosen Italy as one of the important points in its international expansion plan. The group is trained on the Tuscan oil industry, which produced 120 million kilos of raw materials in 2013. Yimin, a Bright Food subsidiary, signed an agreement with the Fontana businessmen in Lucca to purchase a majority packet of stock in the Salov oil group, proprietor of the Sagra and Filippo Berio brands.

Salov specializes in the production and sale of oil, and has a presence in over sixty countries. The production site in is Massarosa, in Lucca province. Sales in 2013 reached approximately 300 million, of which approximately 60% generated from outside of the European continent, due to a strong presence on the American market. The Fontana family, historical shareholders, will retain a minority packet of the stock and have renovated their commitment to the company’s development, based on a strong Italian presidio, but an even stronger international vocation.

A spokesperson for the group explained that the goal of the new Chinese partner is to “maintain Salov’s Italian identity and tradition”, confirming the mission to “select, produce, and distribute the world’s finest quality oil, while maintaining production in Italy.” The agreement at the basis of the change of ownership is however geared at speeding up progress, by exploiting the potential in the Chinese market and by consolidating the Sagra and Filippo Berio presence in those areas where they are already present.

Bright Food is the second largest Chinese foods group and has, in recent years, adopted a growth strategy based on the acquisition of foodstuffs businesses that represent the excellence of those countries in which the group has invested. New Zealand’s Synlait – specialized in infant food, the Australian Manassen Foods – specialized in baked goods, and the British Weetabix – focused on breakfast cereals, are among the most recent businesses in which the group has invested. 

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