Coca-Cola HBC expands coffee chain portfolio with acquisition of minority stake in Caffè Vergnano

ITALY – Swiss-based Coca-Cola anchor bottler Coca-Cola HBC has completed the acquisition of a 30% equity shareholding in premium Italian coffee company Casa del Caffè Vergnano, further expanding its presence in the coffee chain space.   

Caffè Vergnano is one of the oldest coffee roasters in Italy with a premium, high-quality coffee that represents Italian heritage and authenticity.  

The coffee chain’s portfolio includes traditional espresso in various blends, packages, and formats such as beans, roast, and ground coffee and single portioned pods.  

According to a statement from Coca-Cola HBC,  the company sold approx. 7,000 tons of coffee in more than 90 countries worldwide in 2020.  

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As part of the deal, Coca-Cola HBC has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement for Caffè Vergnano’s products in Coca-Cola HBC’s territories outside of Italy. 

Some of the territories where Coca-Cola has an established presence include Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Switzerland. 

The company also has significant investments in 21 other territories spanning across Eastern Europe, North Africa, and West Africa, which could become potential markets for Caffè Vergnano’s products.  

 CCHBC says the investment is ‘highly complementary’ to its existing Costa coffee which the company acquired in 2019 and has been rolling out new Costa products over the last year.  

Furthermore, the partnership ‘will increase Coca-Cola HBC’s relevance with its customers within the most attractive segments of the coffee category, while providing Caffè Vergnano with significant expansion potential through Coca-Cola HBC’s leading route to market network and commercial capabilities. 

Earlier in September, Coca-Cola HBC announced plans to acquire a majority stake in Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt (CCBCE) through its subsidiary Coca-Cola HBC Holdings. 

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Under the agreement, Coca-Cola HBC will acquire 94.7% stake in the Egyptian unit from its majority shareholders for an agreed combined purchase price of US$427 million. 

Food Business Africa reported that the finalization of the proposed transaction will enable Coca-Cola HBC to access the second-largest Non-Alcoholic Ready To Drink market (NARTD) in Africa by volume, building on existing scale in Nigeria. 

Meanwhile, the world’s third-largest Coca-Cola anchor bottler has made a commitment to reduce emissions to net-zero across its entire value chain by 2040.  

To achieve this goal, the Zug, Switzerland-based bottler has committed to invest €250m ($289m) in emissions reduction initiatives by 2025.   

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