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Illycaffè may sell a 20% stake to to support its expansion in the US market

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MILAN – Italian gourmet coffee roaster illycaffè has launched the sale of a minority stake, reports Bloomberg quoting a private source. The Trieste-based coffee company could offer a 20% holding, which would reportedly value it at more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion).

Illy hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in October to find a partner to expand its business in the U.S. market, Chairman Andrea Illy said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

One of the most coveted coffee brands in the world, illy is still run by the family that founded the roaster in the 1930s. The company generated sales of 483 million euros in 2018, and operates in more than 140 countries. It has been expanding its network of cafes on shopping streets, in museums and in airports.

The firm last year teamed up with Jacobs Douwe Egberts (Jde), to produce aluminum capsules compatible with Nespresso machines.

A deal could include a mix of new stock as well as existing shares sold by the family-owned holding company that controls Illycaffe, says Bloomberg quoting a person familiar with the matter.

However, no final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, added the source.