PARMA, ITALY — Barilla Group, the world’s largest pasta company, said it has secured a €700 million ($907.1 million) loan from a pool of 13 banks to expand its global operations.
“This transaction is part of the group’s renewed growth strategy, which includes a significant increase in activities aimed at international growth both in the markets that are currently strongest and in selected emerging economies, as well as implementing technological innovations in our production processes that will allow us to offer superior quality products in a sustainable manner,” said Claudio Colzani, managing director of Barilla Group.
According to Barilla, the new loan will replace credit lines that were expiring. The new five-year loan is backed by 13 international and Italian banks, including Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca.
Barilla said it will use funds from the loan for a variety of international expansion efforts, including the opening of an operational headquarters in Dubai, from which it will manage the Middle Eastern and African markets. The company also is investing in production capacity in Italy, with €2.3 million allocated for new grain storage silos to supply Barilla’s pasta facility near Parma. The investment in Italy also covers a railway line that will connect the production site in Parma with the ports of Livorno and Ravenna, thereby reducing transport costs and pollution, Barilla said.Barilla recently opened a production line for its Harrys range of bread goods near Lyon in France. The company said the line opening is the first stage in an investment program worth €47 million to further its presence in France.