Lavazza buys Kicking Horse Coffee from Swander Pace: Reuters

Italian coffee maker Lavazza said on Wednesday it had bought 80 percent of Kicking Horse Coffee in a deal valuing the Canadian company at $215 million (US$160 million).

Family-owned Lavazza is looking round for acquisitions to help boost its turnover to 2.2 billion euros (US$2.46 billion) in the next four years.

In a statement, Lavazza said the deal was an important step in its strategy to grow in North America, seen as a key market for the group.

Under the deal, Elana Rosenfeld, who founded the Invermere, British Columbia-based organic coffee brand in 1996, will own the remaining 20 percent and will continue to run the company as chief executive.

Lavazza sales rose 29 percent to 1.9 billion euros last year thanks to the acquisition of French coffee brand Carte Noire and Denmark’s Merrild.

Lavazza was advised by JPMorgan, law firm Blake Cassels & Graydon, Boston Consulting Group and PwC.

Update: The seller in the deal was U.S. private equity firm Swander Pace Capital. Swander Pace partnered with Rosenfeld in 2012 and made the investment through its Branch Brook Holdings partnership with Jefferson Capital Partners and United Natural Foods Inc.

Swander Pace’s statement about the sale can be viewed here.

Last September, PE Hub Canada interviewed Swander Pace Managing Director Andrew Richards and Principal Valerie Scott about the firm’s investment strategy in Canada.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Agnieszka Flak)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

Photo courtesy of Kicking Horse Coffee