Thursday, May 25, 2017
The Lavazza Group has acquired a significant equity stake in Kicking Horse Coffee, Ltd., a leading Canadian organic and fair-trade coffee player, from the private-equity fund Swander Pace Capital.
Lavazza, which is based in Turin, Italy, is paying $215 million for an 80 per cent interest in Kicking Horse. Elana Rosenfeld, who founded Kicking Horse Coffee in Invermere, B.C. in 1996, will retain a 20 per cent equity stake and will continue as CEO.
“Kicking Horse Coffee represents one of the ‘local jewels’ the Lavazza Group continues to seek as part of its globalization and premium positioning strategy,” said Antonio Baravalle, CEO of the Lavazza Group, and who will take on the role of chairman of Kicking Horse Coffee.
“Today, organic fair-trade coffee is one of the fastest-growing trends at the international level, and in North America in particular,” he said. “Kicking Horse Coffee leads this segment with a brand that is perfectly complementary to the Lavazza portfolio. In recent years, the company has constantly grown at a double-digit rate and, thanks to this acquisition, its growth and development prospects both in and outside of Canada will increase significantly.”
Baravalle said the transaction represents an important step for the development of Lavazza’s strategy in North America. As with the recent Carte Noire and Merrild acquisitions, Lavazza’s objective is to further increase the “brand equity” of Kicking Horse Coffee while sharing key respective competencies and values.