Lavazza confirms Carte Noire offer

Lavazza has confirmed this week that it has made an offer to purchase the French Carte Noire brand from Jacobs Douwe Egberts. The offer, which is subject to approval by the European Commission and French authorities, would significantly increase the Italian roasters retail market share. “France has been a very important market for Lavazza and we expect it will be even more so in the future,” said Lavazza’s CEO Antonio Baravalle, in a statement. “With Carte Noire, France would become our second most important market.” According to the terms of the offer, the world’s seventh largest coffee roaster would take control of the Carte Noire business within the European Economic Area, with the exception of Carte Noire instant coffee, T-Discs and its out-of-home products. “This deal would be totally consistent with our international development strategy,” said Baravalle. “With this strategic acquisition we believe we would be making an important step forward to become a global company.” Carte Noire was put on the market in February to meet the European Commissions concerns over competition, following the merger between US-based Mondelez International and Dutch group D.E Master Blenders. The joint venture to establish Jacobs Douwe Egberts created the world's largest coffee company. As part of the agreement, D.E Master Blenders will sell its Danish Merrild brand, which Lavazza is also intending to purchase, following European Commission approval. The full Carte Noire scope is expected to include its in-home roast and ground coffee, filter pads and capsules businesses. As part of the proposal, Lavazza would also acquire the Laverune factory, located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France. Lavazza, which has a presence in 90 countries worldwide, has a 45 per cent market share in the Italian retail market. “Italy will continue to be our key market, headquarter, innovation and industrial center, while in France, the fourth global coffee market and the second in Europe, Lavazza will reach a leadership position,” said Baravalle.

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