July 2, 2018 / 10:03 AM / 5 months ago

Italy's Lavazza buys Australia's Blue Pod Coffee

MILAN, July 2 (Reuters) - Italy’s Lavazza said on Monday it would buy all of Australia’s Blue Pod Coffee, as the coffee maker pushes ahead with a shopping spree that has allowed it to sharply increase its scale.

The acquisition follows Nestle’s $7.15 billion licensing deal with Starbucks in May aimed at boosting the Swiss-based food and beverages group’s global distribution muscle.

After buying French brand Carte Noire and Denmark’s Merrild, Turin-based Lavazza last year purchased Canadian organic coffee firm Kicking Horse, France’s ESP and Italian coffee pods and machines company Nims.

But in March, Chief Executive Antonio Baravalle said that the group would focus more on organic growth in 2018, after posting 2 billion euros in revenue last year, a 6.3 percent increase.

Company officials could not be reached for immediate comment on the potential impact of the latest acquisition on revenue or the value of the deal.

“The operation is part of the group’s internationalisation strategy and confirms the importance of Australia as a key market,” Lavazza said in a statement.

Blue Pod Coffee Co. for the last decade has been the exclusive distributor of Lavazza espresso machines and capsules to offices in Australia, where the Italian group has been operating for 30 years. (Reporting by Giulia Segreti; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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