Lavazza, the world’s seventh-biggest coffee roaster, has made an offer to buy French brand Carte Noire for an estimated 800 million euros ($872 million) in a deal that would treble the Italian company’s turnover in France, if it is approved by the regulators. The growing market has triggered consolidation in the sector that, according to analysts, will allow only half a dozen players to play a leading role.
Carte Noire was founded in 1978 and is the biggest coffee brand in France, the world’s fourth-largest coffee market. The purchase would make France Lavazza’s second-biggest country behind Italy, where it has a market share of about 45 percent.
The purchase of Carte Noire would support Lavazza’s goal to expand beyond Italy, Chief Executive Officer Antonio Baravalle said in a statement. The Turin headquartered company’s strategy is to grow both organically and through acquisitions, he said.
The binding offer for Carte Noire is subject to works council consultations and regulatory approval. It includes the Carte Noire business within the 31-nation European Economic Area with the exception of instant coffee, single-serve capsules called T-Discs and out-of-home businesses. A factory in Laverune, France would also be included.
Established in 1895, the Turin-based company has been owned by the Lavazza family for four generations.
Lavazza is one of the most important roasters in the world, a leader in Italy with a 44.9% share of the retail market in value (source: Nielsen). It operates in over 90 countries around the world, working with subsidiaries and and extensive network of distributors, and employees over 3.000 people. Lavazza prides itself on its quality, and its commitment to quality is summed up in the quote ‘Building quality every day’.
Like many other international Italy companies, it began as a small family business and over the generations has grown to become an international brand, and the Italian Coffee Company.