Gilde and AAC backed a management buyout in November 2002. Since then, Drie Mollen has pursued a focused growth strategy that has transformed it into a Europe-wide player positioned between large branded international and small local coffee roasters. It has spent the past two years in particular reinforcing its top ten position in the European coffee and tea market through operations spread across the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, France and Germany. In addition, it has developed a strong position in over 15 export markets. The company’s turnover was approximately €300m in 2007 and it generated an annual production of over 50,000 tonnes.
Boudewijn Molenaar, managing director of Gilde, said: “This has been a very successful investment for us. We are pleased to have supported the company to implement their buy-and-build strategy and help them focus on making the company more efficient. Simultaneously with our investment, the company acquired Swiss local coffee roaster Giger in 2002 targeting the out-of-home segment of the market and has since continued on the acquisition path by acquiring Swiss coffee company Merkur in 2004 and UK-based First Choice Coffee in 2006.”
Marc Staal, managing partner of co-vendor AAC, said: “In addition to growth by acquisition, we focused the company on its organic growth potential resulting in the sale of the vending activities and rationalisation of its retail presence. At the same time we built on its strong manufacturing footprint, category management and leadership in the coffee pads segment.”
The company operates through a network of specialised coffee companies and combines a strong local-for-local approach with efficient and large-scale roasting facilities.
Christopher Campbell, CapVest Partner, said: “Drie Mollen represents a compelling opportunity to invest in a market leader in the European coffee sector. We intend to leverage Drie Mollen’s multi-channel, pan-European platform to capitalise on opportunities in existing and new markets. We believe there is strong potential to accelerate growth through investment in innovation and the pursuit of value enhancing acquisitions.”