MILAN, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Illycaffe could open up its capital to investors in the medium term, if a plan to spin off the non-coffee part of the business and find a partner goes well, a member of the family owning the Italian premium coffee maker said.
The coffee maker, which was founded 85 years ago by Francesco Illy, has recently rebuffed overtures from bigger rivals looking to buy the brand, illycaffe chairman Andrea Illy said earlier this year.
But on Thursday Riccardo Illy, a brother of Andrea, said his own plans to find a partner to invest in the family’s non-coffee business could eventually pave the way for outsiders to invest in illycaffe.
By end-June next year the family wants to spin off non-coffee operations into a sub-holding company and bring a partner in to help develop brands ranging from tea to chocolate and wine.
“If the plan for the non-coffee business works then illycaffe could open up its capital,” Riccardo Illy said.
The Illy group plans to grow and separately list its non-coffee ventures, starting with its tea brand, French-based Dammann Frères, which could go public within two or three years, he said.
Riccardo recently said the non-coffee business was worth around 100 million euros ($113 million). ($1 = 0.8821 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)