Illycaffè has announced the sale of a minority stake in the company to affiliates of private equity firm Rhône Capital, as it aims to grow its US market presence.
Following a selection process that took more than a year, Illycaffè says that it chose Rhône as its partner for the firm’s ability to contribute to Illy’s international expansion, particularly in the US.
Illycaffè has not disclosed the terms of the transaction, but it has been reported that Rhône will buy 20% of the company for more than €200 million.
Andrea Illy, chairman of Illycaffè, said: “We chose Rhône as a travel companion for this next phase of growth because of their deep, global experience in strategically partnering with family-owned companies and based on their ability to understand Illy’s unique, premium positioning rooted in its superior quality, longstanding heritage and authentic, sustainable business model.”
Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of Illycaffè, added: “Rhône has a formidable track record in helping its portfolio companies grow internationally, particularly in the US, a key market in our growth plans.
“In addition to Rhône’s partnership approach to investing, I truly welcome their contribution to Illycaffè’s board thanks to Rhône’s proven expertise in supporting the implementation of the strategic plans and particularly the initiatives related to digital transformation, a key strategic lever within Illy’s plans and a capability that is becoming increasingly relevant in the current business environment.”
According to Illycaffè, the partnership will complement a generational transition that is underway with the appointment of the fourth generation of the Illy family to the company’s board of directors.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Illycaffè recently partnered with TerraCycle in a project that will facilitate the collection and recycling of its plastic and aluminium Iperespresso coffee capsules in Europe.
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