Sara Lee to buy Dutch café Store Leader CoffeeCompany

Sara Lee Corp. today announced an agreement to acquire CoffeeCompany, a leading Dutch café store operator where KRC Capital is a major shareholder. With this acquisition Sara Lee will boost its branding platform and strengthen its presence in the growing segment of young out-of-home coffee consumers. The transaction is expected to close in the next 30 days, pending final closing conditions.

“This acquisition is part of our strategy to create a pure-play coffee and tea company poised for strong growth,” said Jan Bennink, executive chairman, Sara Lee Corp. “Acquiring CoffeeCompany, one of the most exciting, dynamic coffee names among young urban consumers, will make Sara Lee the No. 1 café operator in the Netherlands. It will also allow the business to expand its platform for inspiration, branding and consumer connection.”

Sara Lee plans to retain the current management team of CoffeeCompany, which will integrate and run the combined network of 60 premium cafés with more than 7 million yearly consumer visits. The new combined café stores business will have a strong presence in premium downtown locations in major cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague.

“We contributed our extensive branding experience to enable CoffeeCompany to expand successfully and become a leading brand in the Dutch coffee market,” said Rattan Chadha, President of KRC Capital. “Joining forces with Sara Lee will allow the business to enter a new and exciting growth phase.”

Earlier this year, Sara Lee Corp announced its plans to divide the company into two publicly traded, pure-play entities: one focused on meats in North America and the other focused on the international coffee and tea market. The split is on track to occur during the first half of calendar year 2012.

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