Italian coffee maker Lavazza has made a binding offer to acquire French coffee seller MaxiCoffee to strengthen its position in France and in e-commerce.
"Our strategy is to support the further development of MaxiCoffee, which will maintain its profile as a multi-brand e-commerce platform and remain independent," Lavazza chief executive Antonio Baravalle said in a statement.
MaxiCoffee, which is jointly owned by its founder Christophe Brancato, Italian private equity group 21 Invest and other investors, operates through an online platform and some 60 retail outlets. Founded in 2007, it employs around 1,500 people.
Christophe Brancato will reinvest in the capital of MaxiCoffee with a minority stake, the statement said without providing financial details.
A Challenging 2022
Earlier this year, Lavazza said it expected a challenging 2022 due to raw material price rises after reporting a strong increase in profits for 2021.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at €312 million ($337.93 million) in 2021, up 23.3% on 2020.
Revenues increased 11% to €2.3 billion last year, also thanks to a recovery in the 'out of home' channel after the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, when lockdowns kept people at home.
Elsewhere, Brazilian coffee farmers and experts have downgraded expectations regarding next year's crop in the world's largest producer after a mostly negative post-flowering evolution in many of the areas they oversee.
According to them, initial expectations for an increase in production next year now look dim, with views converging for a crop that would be similar in size to the one harvested this year.