BURRILLVILLE – A family-owned food manufacturer headquartered in town for 42 years has been sold to a private equity firm from Illinois.

Daniele Inc., a producer of finely cured Italian meats, has been purchased by Chicago-based Entrepreneurial Equity Partners.

The company has been owned by the Dukcevich family since Croatian husband and wife refugees, Stefano and Caroline, began making dry-cured delicacies in the northeastern Italy region of Trieste in 1945.

Their youngest son, Vlado Dukcevich, moved his family to Pascoag in 1977 and built the first Daniele, Inc. prosciutto plant in Rhode Island.

A third generation, Vlado’s sons Davide and Stefano Dukcevich, opened the company’s third plant in Burrillville in 2012, a 300,000-square foot facility that doubled Daniele’s production capabilities. The $50 million charcuterie plant sits in an industrial park off Broncos Highway.

The Italian meat producer sells brands including Del Duca Prosciutto, sopressata, salame, pancetta, mortadella and capocollo. It ships to supermarkets, grocers, delis and restaurants across the United States, but also does international business in Canada, Mexico, China, Korea and other countries. Roughly 600 employees currently work for Daniele.

Entrepreneurial Equity Partners, or e2p, is “focused on the food and consumer packaged goods industries,” according to a release in Private Equity Wire.

The Dukcevich family will reportedly maintain a significant stake in the company.

Davide Dukcevich said in a statement, “Our family has dedicated over 70 years to growing Daniele. We selected e2p as our partner for the company’s next stage because of their blend of hands-on operational experience and demonstrated ability to create value in food companies for all stakeholders.”

Mark Burgett, managing partner at e2p said “I have known the Dukcevich family and Daniele for many years, and we are incredibly excited to add Daniele to our e2p portfolio. Daniele has developed industry-leading brands and product offerings as a result of its dedication to authenticity, quality and strong product innovation.”

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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