By. Travel Writers Network Member
Italy, May 2018: Luxury hotel group Leeu Collection (www.leeucollection.com) has taken a 10% stake in Alajmo SpA (www.alajmo.it), the Italian family business established by brothers Massimiliano (Max) Alajmo, the world’s youngest three-star Michelin chef, and Raffaele (Raf), the company’s Chief Executive and maître des lieux.
Brothers Max (L) and Raf (R) Alajmo flank Analjit Singh
The purchase mirrors previous investments made by Analjit (BAS) Singh, the owner of Leeu Collection, all of which have a family focus; companies such as South African Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines and Indian chef Ritu Dalmia’s Riga Foods and Mamagoto.
Alajmo SpA operates four fine-dining restaurants and six café-bistros, including Le Calandre and La Montecchia restaurants in Padua, Caffè Stern in Paris and Grancaffè & Ristorante Quadri in St. Mark’s Square, Venice, as well as a line of food products and a special events business, all overseen by Max from Le Calandre, his vibrant culinary laboratory, which has held three Michelin stars since 2003.
Leeu Collection currently has three properties (Leeu Estates, Leeu House and Le Quartier Français) in Franschhoek, South Africa, with Linthwaite House in the Lake District due to re-open following a year-long refurbishment in June 2018. Two further hotels are under construction in London and Florence.
Said Raf Alajmo, CEO of Alajmo SpA, “Having, last year, bought back the shares once owned by Italian investment firm Palladio Finanziaria, my brother and I decided to open our doors to a foreign shareholder. A chance meeting with BAS in Milan has led to him purchasing a share of Alajmo SpA, in what we sincerely hope will be the first step towards a strong alliance between our two companies.”
In response, Analjit Singh said, “I am always attracted to invest in family businesses that share a similar vision to mine and, because there are a lot of synergies between Leeu and Alajmo, I feel sure that the results of this partnership will be seen for years to come.”