LONDON, UK – Global investment firm Carlyle announced that its Global Credit platform has provided a debt financing package of c. £370 million to support the refinancing and future growth of The Caffè Nero Group (the “Group”), a leading operator of premium coffee shops.
Founded over 20 years ago by Gerry Ford, who remains CEO today, The Caffè Nero Group operates four premium coffee house brands: Caffè Nero, Coffee #1, Harris + Hoole, and Aroma. The Group has over 1,000 stores across 10 countries, of which c. 750 are based in the UK, and employs more than 7,700 people, with over 5,600 of these individuals based in the UK.
As a result of this transaction, the Group has reduced its debt exposure while strengthening the company’s balance sheet and providing it with additional funds to support its growth plans. The ownership structure of the Group remains unchanged, with the majority shareholding remaining with Gerry Ford and his family and friends.
Gerry Ford, Founder & CEO of The Caffè Nero Group, said: “Our new capital structure will allow us to focus on future growth, and I very much look forward to working with Carlyle as we leverage their financial and strategic expertise to take the Caffè Nero brand to new heights.”
Taj Sidhu, Head of European Illiquid Credit at Carlyle, said: “We look forward to supporting Caffè Nero Founder & CEO Gerry Ford and his team in their next phase of growth. This transaction is a great example of Carlyle’s flexible capital and track record in privately negotiating capital solutions for founders and entrepreneurs.”
Merrill Goulding, a Managing Director in Carlyle’s Illiquid Credit platform, said: “We are delighted to partner with Caffè Nero, a much-loved high street brand thanks to its reputation for providing high-quality, premium coffee over several decades. We are excited to support the many growth opportunities that lie ahead for the company as it continues to capitalise on its competitive offering and market-leading positioning.”
Within Carlyle’s $66 billion Global Credit platform, its Illiquid Credit business pursues investments in privately negotiated capital solutions primarily for upper middle market borrowers, including both private equity sponsored and family or entrepreneur-owned companies.