The Lavazza Group announced the purchase of a significant equity stake in Kicking Horse Coffee, Ltd. from the private-equity fund Swander Pace Capital, who had originally acquired the investment in 2012 in partnership with Jefferson Capital and United Natural Foods. Kicking Horse Coffee, a leading Canadian organic and fair-trade coffee player, has distinguished itself over the last several years with remarkable growth in both Canada and the United States.
With this transaction, Lavazza secures an 80% interest in the company, which was valued CAD 215 million. Elana Rosenfeld, who founded Kicking Horse Coffee in 1996, will retain a 20% equity stake and will continue as Chief Executive Officer.
"Kicking Horse Coffee represents one of the 'local jewels' the Lavazza Group continues to seek as part of its globalization and premium positioning strategy," commented Antonio Baravalle, CEO of the Lavazza Group and future Kicking Horse Coffee Chairman. "Today, organic fair-trade coffee is one of the fastest-growing trends at the international level, and in North America in particular. 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."
This transaction represents an important step for the development of our strategy in North America, a key market for the Lavazza Group. 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.