Lavazza listing not on menu for Italy's largest coffee maker


By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) - Italy's largest coffee group Lavazza has no plans for a market listing and is focused instead on organic growth and integrating companies it bought last year, vice-president Giuseppe Lavazza told Reuters.

Lavazza, which wants to generate 70% of group revenue outside Italy by 2021, views the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Australia, Russia and Poland as key regions for future expansion, Giuseppe Lavazza said on Tuesday.

With revenue of just under 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), Lavazza remains well behind industry leaders Nestle NESN.S, JAB Holdings and Starbucks SBUX.O, and has long been suggested as a possible IPO candidate.

But while he would not rule out a stock market listing at a later date, Lavazza said a flotation was not currently on the cards.

"For now, our projects are already well funded through our internal resources. A listing is always a possibility but it's not on the radar, not even on the medium-term radar," he said.

Asked about acquisitions, Lavazza told reporters at an event on the sidelines of the French Open tennis tournament: "Nothing is on the table for now. 2019 will mostly be a year dedicated to organic growth and integrating companies we bought last year."

The 124-year-old company, founded by Luigi Lavazza in Turin, has grown through overseas acquisitions in recent years, gradually reducing its reliance on Italy which accounted for 36 percent of group sales in 2018.

Asked if a bond might be used to fund further growth, Lavazza said: "If it was necessary to do something very important, of course we would consider all financial tools available."


France, where the group made sales of 407 million euros in 2018 and employs 600 people, is Lavazza's second-largest market. The company's 2016 acquisition of the Carte Noire brand made it the leader in the French coffee market where Carte Noire has a market share of 15.2% by volume.

In a bid to capitalise on Millennials' growing thirst for chilled coffee drinks, Lavazza plans to launch Nitro Cold Brew - cold brewed coffee infused with nitrogen - machines in 500 French bars, restaurants and hotels in September.

The Millennials view cold brew coffee as an healthier alternative to soda and energy drinks and also use it in cocktails.

($1 = 0.8935 euros)

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Alexander Smith and Kirsten Donovan)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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