(Ljubljana, 3 November 2020) Generali Growth Equity Fund, a private equity fund established and managed by Generali Investments, has acquired its fourth asset – a share in Paradajz, podjetje za proizvodnjo, trgovino, storitve in distribucijo d.o.o., Turnišče, an agricultural company specialising in integrated vegetable production.
The company Paradajz d.o.o. is a leader of growing high-quality tomatoes as its core product in indoor facilities, using cutting-edge and environmentally friendly technology – with high value-added, highly qualified human resources, top-notch consultants, and other possibilities offered by Pomurje, one of the most promising regions for specialised agricultural production in Slovenia.
The company is best known for its premium tomato brand, LUŠT. It boasts extensive know-how on integrated production of vegetables in indoor facilities heated by geothermal energy in Slovenia. LUŠT tomatoes are grown in the company’s greenhouses in the Prekmurje village of Renkovci, spreading over 90,000 m2 (9 ha) of glass-covered areas. Next to the greenhouses are a geothermal well and lagoons collecting rainwater used for plant watering. Integrated production of tomatoes is especially important in North-Eastern Slovenia, which has an excellent geographic position in strategic terms. LUŠT tomatoes are always freshly delivered to grocery shelves, which is reflected in their nutrient content, appearance and taste.
The equity investment of Generali Growth Equity Fund in Paradajz, d.o.o. will help the company further develop and expand its integrated tomato production in Slovenia, and develop distribution channels to deliver fresh produce from the greenhouses to final consumers within the shortest time possible. This supports the company’s vision of becoming the leading supplier and producer of vegetables for the largest food retailers in the Slovenian market and an important supplier for food retailers in countries bordering Slovenia.
Generali Growth Equity Fund is a special investment fund managed by Generali Investments, Slovenia’s oldest management company with subsidiaries in Croatia and North Macedonia. Generali Growth Equity Fund invests in ambitious small and medium-sized companies, offering support for growth financing, capacity expansion, sales network building and new product development as well as the acquisition of competitors and management of succession matters.
The Generali Growth Equity Fund investment in Paradajz, podjetje za proizvodnjo, trgovino, storitve in distribucijo, d.o.o., is co-financed by the European Investment Fund and the SID Bank. Generali Growth Equity Fund was founded in 2019 as part of the Slovene Equity Growth Investment Programme (SEGIP), which was launched upon the initiative of the SID Bank in cooperation with the European Investment Fund (EIF). It offers equity and quasi-equity financing to Slovenian SMEs and mid-cap companies. The SID Bank committed to contributing EUR 50 million of its own funds to this programme (without state guarantee), and the EIF has provided an additional EUR 50 million under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (with EFSI guarantee). By mobilising additional funding from other private investors through the SEGIP programme, overall investments for Slovenian companies could exceed EUR 150 million, which is 3-times the contribution of the SID Bank.