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Cibus+Tuttofood: the Italian agri-food trade fair giant is born

Agreement between Parma and Milan: alliance of trade fairs gives rise to world-class entity

07, Mar 2023

The one that is in the final straight between Fiera di Parma and Fiere di Milano is a historic agreement. The Provincial Council of Parma, in fact, gave the green light to the agreement this morning, with the abstention of the group Together for the Province of Parma. Under the agreement, Fiera di Milano becomes a shareholder of Fiere di Parma and the latter becomes the owner of the Tuttofood brand, an exhibition that will continue to take place in Milan. The project sees a complementarity between Cibus and Tuttofood. At the end of the afternoon, the OK also arrived from the Parma City Council for the alliance of the two exhibition centres. It is a pact between the Municipality, the Province and the Region, which is now also adhered to by the Chamber of Commerce, which binds the public shareholders to take joint decisions on the Fair, even after the entry of Fiere di Milano. Cibus remains in Parma, as an exhibition of PDO and PGI products and a globally recognized agri-food brand.

In particular, the capital increase reserved for Fiere di Milano and the new syndicate agreement between public shareholders of Fiere di Parma illustrated by the President of the Province, Andrea Massari, were approved.

From an economic point of view, the agreement is important given that from 15 million in turnover 13 years ago, at the beginning of the new cycle of shared management between public and private shareholders, with the agreement Fiere di Parma's turnover could reach almost 60 million Euros in 2026, making a further leap forward from the current 40 million and maintaining the current level of ebitda of over 20% with the consequent increase in the value of the company.

Fiera Milano will become a shareholder of Fiere di Parma with a qualified minority stake by entering into the pact between private shareholders with Credit Agricole and Unione Parmense degli Industriali. The top management of Fiere Parma explained that "the basis of the operation is a clear industrial design which specializes two exhibitions in the interest of Parma, and therefore of the regional exhibition system, but also of the country, because it aims, thanks to the combined with Tuttofood, to bring to Italy to exhibit foreign companies that currently prefer other places in Europe and in the world and therefore become increasingly attractive for large international buyers".

The current shareholders reduce their stake in Fiere di Parma by 18.5% and the public shareholders no longer hold the majority, but drop to 45.84%. However, statutory measures have been included to protect the territory: public shareholders will be able to influence the choices, in particular those relating to Cibus. Among other things, the president of the board will express, in which there will be 5 privately appointed and 4 publicly appointed directors.

For the most important transactions, a qualified majority of 6 board members will be required, as well as for extraordinary shareholders' meetings. Furthermore, the Municipality and the Province, which each hold more than 15% of the shares, individually retain the right of veto in extraordinary shareholders' meetings. On the basis of the new agreement, in any case Cibus does not move from Parma; extraordinary operations and new shareholding arrangements cannot be approved if one does not own 85% of the shares.

In practice, Fiera Ducale will coordinate the two main agro-food fairs, Cibus and Tuttofood, which take place in Italy, emphasizing the specific positioning and level of internationalization of both: according to the agreement, Cibus will consolidate and develop the role of "flagship of made in Italy food" with a focus on excellence, territories and PDO and PGI products that have been driving our exports for 10 years. Tuttofood, for its part, will be projected into a global competitive scenario similar to the events of the great European capitals.

"The perimeter in which this operation takes place goes in the direction of an ever more evident internationalization that the Fairs must have -explains Vincenzo Colla, councilor for economic development and green economy, work, training and international relations-. The agreement avoids risks of a competition between Cibus and Tuttofood, because the biggest interlocutors are not here, they are in Cologne and Paris. It is with them that a new challenge opens up. Here a great subject of industrial governance and the ability to maintain international relations is born".

Parma, PR, Italy, 06/03/2023 20:17
EFA News - European Food Agency

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