Callmewine is one of the leading Italian e-commerce platforms for wine and spirits with great growth potential thanks to the combination of digital competence and extensive knowledge of Italian excellence in the wine sector.
Milan, 03 December 2020 - Italmobiliare today finalised an agreement with the shareholders of the company that owns the e-commerce platform Callmewine, with an overall investment of € 13 million, partly to buy shares and partly for a capital increase, acquiring a 60% stake in the company. The investment by Italmobiliare aims at supporting the next few years of growth for the company, which expects to close 2020 with revenues of over 12.5 million euro, up 95% on 2019.
For Italmobiliare, which is already active in supporting well-established industrial companies, this investment marks the start of a new focus, aimed at finding new opportunities in innovative, rapidly evolving sectors, starting from small, disruptive companies with significant growth opportunities (Small Cap Growth), selected amongst outstanding players in the Italian entrepreneurial landscape.
Callmewine, which was founded in 2010 by Paolo Zanetti, is an e-commerce platform specialised on the sale of wine, where it ranks as one of the market leaders in Italy. The website www.callmewine.com offers an extensive catalogue of wines with around 10,000 labels available, ranging from famous, global wine brands to small, niche producers. The catalogue also includes other types of products, such as beer and spirits. By developing the concept of the "personal online sommelier", Callmewine has managed to reach a growing public that uses the online platform not only to buy goods at competitive prices, but also to find suggestions on selecting wine, whether for special occasions or for daily consumption.
"Callmewine represents a rapidly developing reality that has been able to anticipate some of the trends of recent years, such as consumers' higher level of digitization and their greater propensity to buy products online", points out Carlo Pesenti, Chief Executive Officer of Italmobiliare. “These trends are already occurring and they are bound to get stronger, even in a situation not conditioned by the constraints that we are currently under. Italmobiliare's presence will allow the business to fully take advantage of important growth levers that are yet to be exploited. On the other hand, Italmobiliare's entrance into a dynamic business like Callmewine is a great opportunity for it to gain technical, commercial and organisational expertise in the management of e-commerce and the online channel. Nowdays, this is a strategic and fundamental know-how that can be applied in other portfolio companies."
"The investment by Italmobiliare is an important step for us to continue our development with the necessary resources" declared Paolo Zanetti, founder of Callmewine. "The culture of wine in Italy and abroad is becoming increasingly important: more and more people are interested in wine, they attend wine courses and are looking for more interesting and particular wines. And in this process, the online channel is bound to grow significantly, not only in relation to the current situation, which has led to an increasing number of users who buy wine online. I believe that online sales can lead to quality prevailing over proximity, as immediate access to such a wide selection makes it easier to try and compare wines from different and distant regions, bringing out the qualitative aspect."
With this transaction, which comes just a few weeks after the announcement of its investment into another innovative small cap company (in the healthcare sector), through the acquisition of 92.5% of Casa della Salute (with closing expected by year end), Italmobiliare continues its diversification strategy through its investments in Italian companies with great potential.
Since 2017, Italmobiliare has made investments in well-known industrial firms such as Tecnica, Caffè Borbone, Iseo, Autogas, Capitelli and Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, building up a diversified portfolio of shareholdings in companies that represent the excellence of Made in Italy.
Vitale&Co S.p.A. acted as advisor in this transaction, Long Term Partners and Pedersoli Studio Legale assisted Italmobiliare on the business and legal aspects, Alonzo Committeri & Partners for the fiscal due diligence, while LCA Studio Legale assisted the shareholders of Callmewine.
Closing of the transaction is not subject to conditions precedent and is expected to take place by year end.