Bluegem acquires Panzeri Group through Pool Service

Bluegem Capital Partners, a European mid-market fund focused on consumer brands, has acquired, through its subsidiary Pool Service, Panzeri Diffusion, an Italian group active in the professional haircare sector. 

Panzeri group, founded in 1999 by Ivano Panzeri and based in Malnate (VA), operates in the sector of professional hair cosmetics in Italy, with a portfolio of its own brands, such as concept, milk_shake, no inhibition and simply zen, depot and urban tribe. The group has an important presence in foreign markets, particularly in the USA. In 2019 it generated a total revenue of around 49 million euros, employing more than 130 people.

In September 2019, Bluegem acquired the Pool Service/Medavita group with the aim of creating an aggregator platform in the professional hair cosmetics sector with a build-up strategy. In October 2020, the acquisition of Panzeri Diffusion marks the first important step for Pool Service/Medavita for the consolidation of the field that offers significant operational synergies. Medavita will also be able to leverage Panzeri's successful experience in the US market to develop its presence in North America.

The new entity, that will be established from the merger of the two groups, will be called BeautyNova and will represent the third largest group in the sector in Italy with an aggregate pro-forma revenue of around 90 million euros (according to 2019 data), a share of exports exceeding 60% of revenue in more than 70 countries, including branches in China, Latin America and the USA, and staff of over 300 employees with a value of approximately 130 million euros. The reference market of professional haircare is estimated to be worth 540 million euros in Italy and 14 billion euros worldwide.

BeautyNova will count on an asset of over 12,000 own product formulations, an internal R&D department with 15 resources, and a portfolio of consolidated brands in its own sector.

Stefano Banfo, current CEO and shareholder of the group, will lead the development project over the next few years.

Emilio Di Spiezio Sardo, co-founder of Bluegem Capital Partners, says: “This is a transformative acquisition for Pool Service and Bluegem III, and we expect the group to continue to grow under the leadership of Stefano Banfo. The deal fits perfectly into the investment strategy of the Bluegem III fund, which is focused on stable consumer brands (consumer staples) with a strong cash generation that have demonstrated resilience during the delicate phase of Covid-19. Furthermore, this transaction confirms Bluegem's attention to Italy, a market which we believe in and aim to accelerate the performance of some of the most promising entrepreneurial entities in the country.” 

Stefano Banfo, CEO and shareholder of Pool Service, says: "We have a long-standing business relationship with Ivano Panzeri and his team from the past several years, and we look forward to combining these highly complementary businesses which will create the third largest Italian haircare group."

Ivano Panzeri, Founder of Panzeri Diffusion, says: "The reasons behind this important decision for my professional career are to ensure continuity and further development for the company I founded, to be stronger in overcoming the new challenges and the growing competitiveness of the market, which is why I have chosen a group that has ambitious development plans and which will give added value to the extraordinary results achieved by my company up until now. Together, we are sharing the extraordinary synergies that could exist and the advantages that, thanks to this transaction, we can gain for global growth, a virtuous union between the two companies. The opportunity to remain in the province of Varese, both to safeguard the security of the collaborators and continue to be an economic value for Varesotto, (the area surrounding the city of Varese), was an important consideration in my decision.”

Constantin Rojahn, Director of Bluegem, commented: “This represents Bluegem's fourth investment in the beauty sector over the past three years and we are excited to further expand our presence and expertise in this field.”

Deloitte Financial Advisory assisted Bluegem in the transaction as financial advisor, while Latham & Watkins and Studio Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli Partners acted respectively as legal and tax advisors for Bluegem. PwC acted as debt advisor and was responsible for financial due diligence.

Milano Global Advisors (MGA) assisted the selling shareholder as financial advisor, while Studio Barberi & Volpi Associati acted as legal advisor.