Spanish wine maker Bodegas Torre Oria has sold a 35% share of the business to private-equity firm Portobello Capital to help boost its international growth.

Torre Oria, based in Requena in eastern Spain, produces and distributes cava and still wine to domestic and international markets.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, marks Portobello Capital’s first investment in wine.

The capital will be used to support the company in further global expansion – international exports currently form 80% of the winery’s business. Torre Oria will also look to “strengthen its main brands and develop innovative products in the wine sector”.

It comes as Torre Oria this year doubled its production capacity with a new bottling plant, which opened in September. The facility took the winery’s capacity from 35m to 70m bottles per year.

The deal will not affect the current leadership team. CEO Eloy Bautista and CFO Pablo Aranda, both majority shareholders, joined the company in 2013. Since then it has increased turnover 11-fold, posting revenues in excess of EUR37m (US$39.3m) in the financial year ending September 2022.

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In a statement, Portobello Capital said it “aims to support Torre Oria and its current shareholders in the next phase of international growth”.

Bautista said: “Since our arrival in 2013 we have managed to transform a local company into a group with a consolidated international position… Now we believe that the time has come to take the next step that allows Torre Oria to achieve more ambitious challenges.”

He added: “Portobello has built many success stories in the industry and that we are convinced will be the ideal partner to accompany us in this new stage.”

This is Portobello Capital’s first investment in a food or beverage manufacturer as a minority partner, under the Portobello Structured Partnerships Fund I. The company, which provides funding to “middle-market companies and entrepreneurs” in Europe, manages more than EUR2.1bn in assets.

It told Just Drinks: “Portobello launched in 2020 a new strategy dedicated to minority, non-control investments. This strategy perfectly fit with Torre Oria as the upcoming partners were not sellers and did not want to cede control; they will lead, with Portobello’s full support, the next phase of development.”

Torre Oria is the minority fund’s third investment.

Portobello Capital added Torre Oria was “a unique asset” due to its “asset-light business model, highly efficient and operating at scale in a predominantly asset intensive, inefficient and fragmented industry”.

Beverage M&A round-up, November 2022 – What Just Drinks thinks