Italian olive oil producer Nicola Pantaleo S.P.A has picked up a 27 per cent stake in Dalmia Continental Pvt Ltd (DCPL) for an undisclosed sum.

Dalmia, which owns the Leonardo brand, claims to be the largest player in the rapidly growing olive oil market in India, with a share of 30 per cent.

“We plan to utilise the funds to finance our growth plans,” said V.N. Dalmia, Chairman, DCPL. He did not disclose the quantum of funds raised citing non-disclosure clauses.

DCPL is planning to invest Rs 60 crore over the next three years in key branding and marketing exercise as it seeks to widen the dealer network. The company, which clocked revenues of Rs 40 crore in 2011-12, is targeting a 150 per cent growth in the current financial year and eyeing a turnover of Rs 100 crore.

The deal ensures a guaranteed and steady source of supply for DCPL. Besides, it gives the Italian firm a foothold in the rapidly growing Indian market.

Rising health awareness, affordability and increasing exposure to Western lifestyles are driving up the consumption of olive oil in India. Olive oil imports, which stood at 6,500 tonnes, are poised to cross the 10,000 tonne-mark in the current fiscal.

Pantaleo, with sales of €50 million, is a privately-held company, located in Puglia region. Counted among the top five olive oil exporters in Italy, it produced 20,000 tonnes of olive oil in 2011. The Delhi-based Prosight Partners advised on the investment deal.