Illycaffe Could Broaden JAB Capsule Deal To Marketing
Illycaffe could broaden its partnership with JAB Holding, Chairman Andrea Illy said on Tuesday, but ruled out the investment group taking a stake in the family-owned Italian premium coffee maker.
Illycaffe and JAB, which owns Espresso House, Baresso and Balzac Coffee, joined forces last October to produce and sell Illy-branded coffee pods that will work in rival Nestle's Nespresso machines.
Italian roaster Illycaffe, which produces only one blend made from nine varieties of Arabica beans, has been courted by bigger rivals but has wanted to remain independent.
"Let's start with this deal on the capsules and see how it goes ... if there would be any potential expansion it would not be on the equity side, only co-marketing, distribution synergies," Andrea Illy told Reuters TV.
The medium-sized company is Italy's third-biggest coffee maker with sales of around €500 million ($568 million).
Its revenue rose by a single-digit last year and is expected to accelerate slightly this year as Illycaffe reaps the benefits of a reorganisation which ended in 2018.
"I expect growth to be higher in 2019... (with sales rising) upper single digit," Illy said.