Downers Grove / IL. (slc) Sara Lee Corporation announced an agreement to acquire CoffeeCompany, a leading Dutch cafe store operator where KRC Capital is a major shareholder. With this acquisition Sara Lee will boost its branding platform and strengthen its presence in the growing segment of young out-of-home coffee consumers. The transaction is expected to close in the next 30 days, pending final closing conditions.
«This acquisition is part of our strategy to create a pure-play coffee and tea company poised for strong growth», said Jan Bennink, executive chairman, Sara Lee Corporation. «Acquiring CoffeeCompany, one of the most exciting, dynamic coffee names among young urban consumers, will make Sara Lee the No. 1 cafe operator in the Netherlands. It will also allow the business to expand its platform for inspiration, branding and consumer connection».
Sara Lee plans to retain the current management team of CoffeeCompany, which will integrate and run the combined network of 60 premium cafes with more than seven million yearly consumer visits. The new combined cafe stores business will have a strong presence in premium downtown locations in major cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague.
«We contributed our extensive branding experience to enable CoffeeCompany to expand successfully and become a leading brand in the Dutch coffee market», said Rattan Chadha, President of KRC Capital. «Joining forces with Sara Lee will allow the business to enter a new and exciting growth phase».
Earlier this year, Sara Lee Corporation announced its plans to divide the company into two publicly traded, pure-play entities: one focused on meats in North America and the other focused on the international coffee and tea market. The split is on track to occur during the first half of calendar year 2012.
About Sara Lee Corporation
Sara Lee Corporation and its leading portfolio of food and beverage brands generate nearly nine billion USD in annual net sales from continuing operations and employ approximately 20’000 people worldwide. In January 2011, Sara Lee Corporation announced that it will divide the company into two pure-play publicly-traded companies, one focused on the international coffee and tea market and the other on North American meats.
About KRC Capital
KRC Capital is an independent private equity firm founded by Rattan Chadha, who previously founded international fashion company Mexx. For five years, KRC Capital has been a cornerstone investor of CoffeeCompany until the proposed transaction of the cafe store business to Sara Lee Corporation.
CoffeeCompany was founded by Dick de Kock and Rick Bekkema. After the start-up phase, KRC Capital played a leading role in the next phase of expansion to build the current network of 35 cafes.