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Advent Portfolio Company Argenta Merges With Cafebon, Creating Italy’s No.1 Vending-Machine Operator


27 November 2006 - Advent International, the global private equity firm, and Argenta Group, an Italian vending-machine services company controlled by Advent, today announced that Argenta has merged with Cafebon, the Lombardy, Italy-based vending-machine operator.

The merger increases Argenta’s aggregate sales volume to more than 500 million vends per annum, consolidating its position as the No. 1 player in the highly fragmented Italian vending-machine services sector. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

Cafebon operates under the Cantel Refresh, Coffee Break, G.D.A., Frigoli and Bon Service brands and is the fifth strategic merger by Argenta since Advent made its investment in June 2005. Argenta’s previous mergers are Dolomitica, L’Automatica, Dap Sirmad and Cemar.

The transaction illustrates Advent International’s highly strategic approach in consolidating sectors – investing in high-growth companies as a platform for expansion and working proactively with management to identify acquisitions that can add value and help purchase and integrate them successfully. Cafebon is an important part of Argenta’s expansion plans, broadening its geographic coverage in Lombardy, which generates 20% of Italian GDP, and specifically Milan, Italy’s business services capital.

The strategy for the combined business centres on driving further expansion through increased customer growth, improved presence in traditional and new channels (such as out-of-home entertainment points, banks and underground locations), extended product lines (including toasted sandwiches), and further strategic acquisitions.

Filippo de Vecchi, a Principal in Advent International’s Milan office, commented: “Cafebon is an attractive strategic asset with strong cash generation and excellent coverage in geographic markets important to Argenta. The integration of the companies’ combined strengths, including Cafebon’s highly experienced management team, under Argenta CEO Roberto Franchini and Chairman Epaminonda Scaltriti, will be instrumental in continuing to develop the business through both organic and acquisition-led growth, in line with our original business plan for this investment. We look forward to working with Cafebon’s management team.”

Epaminonda Scaltriti, Chairman of Argenta commented: “We are very pleased to complete this merger with Cafebon as it will help us to achieve our ambitious strategic plan and consolidate our financial structure. The integration of Advent’s capabilities and the strength of the Argenta management team creates a winning combination that assures a promising future for Cafebon as part of Italy’s leading vending-machine services company.”

The Cafebon transaction follows a number of other recent investments by Advent in Italy, including: AVIP, the country’s largest independent outdoor advertising group; and Mirabilandia, Italy’s flagship leisure park, acquired by Advent portfolio company and international leisure park operator Parques Reunidos. Earlier investments include Italtel, the premier vendor of fixed-line telecoms equipment; Marr, the leading Italian distributor of food and catering equipment; and Esaote Biomedica, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of medical equipment and instrumentation.

About Advent International
Advent International is one of the world’s leading private equity firms, with over €8 billion ($10 billion) in cumulative capital raised and offices in 14 countries across Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. Since its inception in 1984, Advent has invested in more than 500 companies in 35 countries and has taken over 130 of these businesses public on major stock exchanges worldwide. 2005 was a very active year for the group, which realised over 30 full and partial exits and raised three new buyout funds totalling over $4 billion.

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