Katjes International has acquired a majority in Dulcioliva S.r.l., an Italian chocolate maker.

Specifically, the Italian subsidiary of Katjes International, Sperlari S.r.l., has signed an agreement to acquire 75 percent of Dulcioliva, according to a company news release, which Candy Industry translated to English from German via Google Translate.

The remaining 25 percent of the shares are held by Luigi Oliva, who was the largest single shareholder before the transaction and is a grandson of the company's founders.

Founded in 1924 in the Italian province of Cuneo, Dulcioliva is known for producing chocolate specialties such as gianduotti, truffles and other pralines. The company also is the market leader for traditional Cuneesi from Piedmont.

The current management of Dulcioliva, including the founding grandson Giuseppe Oliva, will transition to Sperlari, which is meant to help ensure continuity. 

"With this transaction we are further expanding our strong market position in Italy," Tobias Bachmüller, managing partner of Katjes International, said in German translated to English. “The combination of the iconic Sperlari confectionery brand and Dulcioliva's chocolate expertise is what we expect to generate synergies in our home market of Italy and in export.”

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June, and it was financed from the cash flow.