Buyers to recapitalise Deoleo, not hive it off

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A number of foreign funds are vying to take over Spain’s Deoleo, the world’s top olive oil bottler with brands like Carbonell, a source close to the deal said on Thursday, in a deal that has become highly politicised.

Spain is the world’s biggest olive oil producer. Its olive oil exports are surging and the industry is seen as a growth area especially for the south of the country, which is plagued by high unemployment.

With olive-growing rival Italy’s state-backed fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) having expressed an interest in Deoleo, the Spanish government has said it does not want the company to be split up.

The source said six offers were submitted before a deadline on Wednesday, from private equity firms Carlyle and Rhone Capital, both from the United States, Britain’s CVC, France’s PAI Partners, an Italian fund, and one other.

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