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Italian Gluten-Free Foodmaker FinGelit Plans IPO to Boost Growth

FinGelit Srl, an Italian maker of deep-frozen gluten-free products plans an initial public offering on the Milan Exchange as early as next year to fund its expansion abroad.

FinGelit may sell shares to investors and list on the Italian Exchange’s alternative market AIM by April, Chairman Mattia Sebastiano Malgara said in a phone interview yesterday. AIM is Milan’s alternative platform for small and medium-sized companies with high-growth potential. FinGelit, based in Jesi in central Italy, would become the first listed European gluten-free foodmaker.

FinGelit, 90-percent owned by Malgara’s 1M Srl, plans to list up to 30 percent of its capital and will use the proceeds “to keep growing in a fast-expanding market, also leveraging on new products,” Malgara said. He didn’t specify whether new shares or existing shares will be sold. The company forecast sales will quintuple to 10 million euros ($13.6 million) in 2015 from about 1.93 million euros this year, helped by agreements with U.K.’s Tesco Plc, Asda Group Ltd. and J Sainsbury Plc, Malgara said.

The gluten-free food market is expected to reach 4 billion euros in revenue this year. The deep-frozen product segment, which represents as much as 15 percent of that market, is predicted to outperform, Malgara said. FinGelit, previously known as Aemme Srl, is specialized in deep-frozen ready meals for people with celiac disease and expanded its distribution from pharmacies to large retailers including Groupe Auchan SA, Carrefour SA, Lidl and Italy’s Conad and Esselunga SpA.

FinGelit, which sells under its own brand and under brands such as Bofrost, also plans to enter other European markets such as Germany and France, taking the share of revenue abroad to more than 50 percent next year and to 75 percent in 2016, when sales may reach 15 million euros, Malgara said.

The company targets net income of about 518,000 euros next year from a loss of about 39,000 euros this year. Profit will climb to about 1.6 million euros in 2015 and 2.39 million euros in 2016.

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