The Riverside Company buys gelato maker Optima — UPDATED

The Riverside Company has acquired San Clemente, Italy-based Optima and related companies, which develop and market gelato, pastry and other foods. Debt financing was provided by Intermediate Capital Group and GE Capital Interbanca, and Riverside limited partners Lexington Partners and a family office, as well as ICG, provided co-investment capital.

Press Release

The Riverside Company has acquired Optima srl and its related companies (dba Mec3), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of ingredients for gelato, pastry and other foods. Based in San Clemente, Italy, Mec3 sells internationally and enjoys a reputation for quality products, continuous innovation and reliable customer service (

With annual revenues of around €100 million, Mec3 has become a global leader in gelato and pastry ingredients through an innovative and authentic approach to providing ice-cream makers around the world with a full range of products from its exceptional production facilities. Mec3 serves more than 60,000 customers, helping them to deliver an authentic Italian gelato experience to consumers around the world.

“Iced desserts and snacks, particularly high-quality artisanal options like gelato, are becoming increasingly popular globally, and Mec3 is uniquely positioned to capture this global market,” said Riverside Partner Karsten Langer. “We’re excited about the prospects of working with the Mec3 management team to help the company achieve even greater success.”

Riverside plans to support and strengthen the management team, and boost global growth. The firm will also invest in R&D to develop new products and maintain Mec3’s image of innovation.

“After 30 years of developing Mec3, I am delighted to see the company in the hands of an experienced growth-focused investor like Riverside,” said Mec3 founder and President Giordano Emendatori.

“Riverside will build on a very strong foundation to make Mec3 an even bigger and better company,” said Langer. “We plan to carefully and strategically enhance the company so that it thrives and retains its Italian essence.”

Working with Langer on the transaction for Riverside were Vice President Rafael Alvarez-Novoa, Senior Associate Damien Gaudin, Senior Operating Partner Fabio Pesiri and Principal Tomasz Glowacki.

Debt financing for the transaction was provided by Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) and GE Capital Interbanca. Equity co-investment was provided by Lexington Partners, ICG and a large family office investor. Riverside was advised by a.o. Allen & Overy, Bain & Co., PWC and Deloitte. Legal advice on the sell-side was provided by BLF Studio Legale.

The Riverside Company ( or
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $250 million (€200 million in Europe). Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 330 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 70 companies.