MILAN – Brewing to hospitality venture SA Brain & Co has sold a majority stake in its Coffee#1 business to Caffe Nero Group. The acquisition gives the Caffè Nero Group close to 70% ownership of Coffee#1, with SA Brain retaining circa 30% ownership. The Coffee#1 brand will sit alongside the Group’s other brands: Caffè Nero, Harris+Hoole and Aroma.
The Group’s intention is to leave the Coffee#1 brand intact and to operate it as a standalone business.
The exact value of the multi-million pound deal has not been disclosed, but the cash injection will allow Cardiff-based SA Brain to invest back into its business, including its freehold pub estate and new brewery operation.
The Caffè Nero Group has acquired Coffee#1 as part of its ongoing growth strategy, which sees it open a new store somewhere in the world every four days. The group now has over 750 stores in the UK, and a total of over 1,000 stores internationally across 10 countries.
Caffè Nero’s Founder and Group CEO, Gerry Ford commented, “We’re delighted to welcome Coffee#1 into the Caffè Nero family. It is a fantastic brand with an emphasis on great coffee and service combined with a local community-based feel which matches perfectly the ethos of The Caffè Nero Group. Coffee#1 will continue to operate regionally and grow alongside the Caffè Nero brand.”
John Rhys, Chairman of SA Brain, commented, “I am proud of what we have achieved in growing Coffee#1 to 92 stores since we acquired the business seven years ago. I would like to thank our employees and everyone involved for making it such a resounding success.
‘The Board has resolved that now is the time to join-up with a major player in the coffee market to take it forward to the next stage of its development. As ongoing significant shareholders in the business, we look forward to seeing Coffee#1 continue to grow and prosper within the Caffè Nero family over the coming years.”