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The Wall Street Journal: Eataly chain of Italian-style marketplaces selling majority stake to European private-equity firm

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A European private-equity firm agreed to buy a controlling stake in Eataly SpA, with the aim of helping the Italian-marketplace chain continue to expand globally.

Investindustrial is taking a 52% stake in Eataly, the companies said Wednesday. The deal, which the Wall Street Journal had reported Tuesday was imminent, involves an investment of around €200 million, equivalent to $199 million, as well as the purchase of additional shares.

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Eataly plans to use the investment to retire debt and open more flagship stores as well as develop new formats.

Eataly was founded in 2003 by Oscar Farinetti. Its marketplaces feature a mix of restaurants and retail, all with a focus on Italian food and drink. It currently has roughly 40 locations in countries including the U.S., the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Brazil, with more planned.

The Farinetti family, the Baffigo/Miroglio family — another family long involved with Eataly—and Italy-based Tamburi Investment Partners 
TIP,
-1.61%

will own the remaining 48% of the company, the people said.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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