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Italian food group Illy buys British truffle maker Prestat

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Italian food group Illy buys British truffle maker Prestat
FILE PHOTO: Customers are served in Prestat chocolatiers in central London, Britain, August 19, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo   -   Copyright  Toby Melville(Reuters)
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MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Illy Group has agreed to buy Buckingham Palace’s chocolate truffle supplier Prestat as it expands its portfolio of premium brands and grows abroad.

Illy did not disclose the financial terms for the acquisition of the chocolate maker, which was founded in 1902 by pastry chef Louis Dufour who created the first chocolate truffles in 1895.

The Illy family, owner of one of Italy’s most renowned coffee brands illycaffe, has diversified into premium chocolate, tea and wine brands.

The group plans to further expand its non-coffee ventures and list them separately in the medium term, Chairman Riccardo Illy told Reuters last year.

Illy said that Prestat, which posted revenues of 7 million pounds last year, could partner with premium chocolate brand Domori, which it bought in 2006.

Domori will provide rare Criollo cocoa to Prestat, while Illy will help the confectioner expand its brand, Prestat co-owner Bill Keeling said in a statement.

Illy Group also owns wine company Matrojanni and stakes in French tea maker Dammann Freres, and jam maker Agrimontana.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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