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United Coffee Sold to Japanese Group

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United Coffee Sold to Japanese Group

United Coffee Sold to Japanese Group
April 23
09:42 2012

United Coffee, Europe’s leading independent coffee group, is being sold by private equity fund, CapVest Equity Partners, to UCC Holdings, Japan’s leading coffee company. The transaction is expected to complete during the second quarter of 2012 and will bring together two leading coffee groups from Europe and Asia to become one of the top five biggest independent coffee companies in the world. United Coffee will continue to trade as United Coffee across all of its key markets.

UCC is Japan’s largest producer of coffee with a turnover of Eur2.5 billion and employs 3,700 people. It supplies some of Japan’s leading companies in retail, out-of-home and industrial markets and owns successful retail and out-of-home brands. Founded in 1933, UCC remains a family-owned company. UCC has a strong track record in innovation and has pioneered coffee culture in Japan for 80 years, including the invention of canned coffee in 1969. It continues to push the boundaries to reflect the latest consumer trends.

UCC was the first Japanese coffee company to implement the integrated business model and operates a number of coffee businesses with plantations in Jamaica and Hawaii, plus seven plants in Japan. All are certified for their high standards of quality control and operate within strict global safety standards.

Headquartered in Geneva, United Coffee has an annual turnover of Eur422 million. The company produces 72,000 tons of green beans equivalent coffee products at seven major factories in the Netherlands, Spain,Switzerland, UK and France and employs 1,000 people. The group serves major retail customers in Spain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Scandinavia, France, Germany, UK and a number of export markets. It markets household brands to the HORECA market with ‘Rosca’ in Switzerland, ‘Templo’ in Spain and ‘Smit & Dorlas’ in Holland.

Gota Ueshima, chief executive of UCC, says: “With the sale of our gift company, Shaddy, last month we have refocused on our long-term strategy of developing a global coffee business. I am very excited that we have been able to acquire one of the greatest coffee companies in Europe and, together with United Coffee, we can create a truly international market- leading coffee group.”

The new group has a number of exciting initiatives planned. Earlier this year United Coffee launched its coffee capsule system to the out-of-home market. Following the acquisition, this is now expected to grow in multiple markets worldwide.

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