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Caffe Nero acquires majority stake in Coffee#1

The Caffè Nero Group has announced it has become the majority owner of Coffee#1, after acquiring shares from its owner SA Brain for an undisclosed sum.

SA Brain has owner the Wales, Midlands and south England based Coffee chain since 2011 and the first Coffee#1 site opened in 2001. The chain currently has 92 shops across the region, with sales at over £30m.

The acquisition gives the Caffè Nero Group close to 70% ownership of Coffee#1, with SA Brain retaining circa 30% ownership. The Coffee#1 brand will sit alongside the group’s other brands; Caffè Nero, Harris+Hoole and Aroma. The group’s intention is to leave the Coffee#1 brand intact and to operate it as a standalone business.

The Caffè Nero Group has acquired Coffee#1 as part of its ongoing growth strategy, which sees it open a new store somewhere in the world every four days. The group now has over 750 stores in the UK, and a total of over 1,000 stores internationally across 10 countries.

Founder and group CEO, Gerry Ford, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Coffee#1 into the Caffè Nero family. It is a fantastic brand with an emphasis on great coffee and service combined with a local community-based feel which matches perfectly the ethos of the Caffè Nero Group. Coffee#1 will continue to operate regionally and grow alongside the Caffè Nero brand.”

John Rhys, chairman of SA Brain added: “I am proud of what we have achieved in growing Coffee#1 to 92 stores since we acquired the business seven years ago. I would like to thank our employees and everyone involved for making it such a resounding success. The board has resolved that now is the time to join up with a major player in the coffee market to take it forward to the next stage of its development.

“As ongoing significant shareholders in the business, we look forward to seeing Coffee#1 continue to grow and prosper within the Caffè Nero family over the coming years.”

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