Lavazza acquires Carte Noir

Italian coffee roaster Lavazza has acquired the leading French brand Carte Noir, marking another significant step forward in the company’s international growth. Lavazza has said that the acquisition is a sign of its ambition to compete with the industry’s major players in this phase of market consolidation. Lavazza’s top managers explained that the agreement with the Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) group was finalised on 29 February, following the approval by the French competition Authority and the European Commission, and the completion of the information and consultation process with the relevant employees’ representative organisations. The transaction involves the acquisition of Carte Noire’s brands and businesses within the European Economic Area (EEA, which includes the 28 EU member states, and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). This includes roast and ground coffee, whole bean coffee, soft pods and Nespresso-compatible capsules. The agreement also covers a five-year license for the Senseo brand for soft pods and Nespresso-compatible capsules in Austria. The agreement does not include Tassimo or — for the first two years only — instant coffee and products for the away-from-home channel. The scope of the acquisition also includes Carte Noire’s Lavérune production plant, in the Languedoc-Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées region, which will continue to make the products covered by the agreement, thus becoming part of the Lavazza’s global production system. “The acquisition of Carte Noire by Lavazza unites two companies which are very similar in terms of their history, image level and culture of quality,” said Lavazza’s CEO, Antonio Baravalle. “At the same time, the complementary nature of the respective consumption segments, which sees Lavazza among the leading brands on the French away-from-home market and Carte Noire in the retail segment, opens the way to significant development potential.” A leader in France with a 20% share of the retail market, Carte Noire is the most important of a number of recently concluded acquisitions. During his presentation, Lavazza’s CEO recalled that in 2015 the Merrild brand — the long-established leader in Denmark and the Baltic countries — became part of the Group, whilst in Australia — the country where the company holds a significant market share — the distribution operations were taken over at the end of last year and a new Group subsidiary was incorporated. “We have been sustaining our growth for some time,” stated Baravalle. “In addition to the recent acquisitions, I would like to mention the major refurbishment of our industrial sites, the significant investments in marketing, communications and innovation and the ongoing development of our new headquarters in Turin: a total commitment that has exceeded US$1 billion.” “Considering the process of consolidation in progress, our goal is to reach a dimensional level that allows us to play an ever more central role on the market, whilst keeping our own identity and values, and create an independent global Group, specialised in coffee, ready to compete at international level.”
Bravalle said in his statement that these developments are all a part of the company’s strategy to grow its turnover beyond US$2 billion annually.

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