8 min

Lavazza acquires Kicking Horse Coffee

05-24-2017 • Corporate


Turin, May 24th, 2017 – The Lavazza Group announces its acquisition of shares in Kicking Horse Coffee, Ltd., taking over the private equity fund Swander Pace Capital, which had entered into a partnership with Jefferson Capital and United Natural Foods in 2012. Kicking Horse Coffee, a Canadian leader in the organic and Fair trade coffee segment, has grown in prominence in recent years through its extraordinary growth in both Canada and the US.



This operation means that Lavazza now owns 80% of the company, valued at a total of CAN$215 million. Elana Rosenfeld, who founded the company in 1996, will remain a shareholder of the company with a share of 20% and will continue to manage the company as the CEO.



In particular, this is an important step in the development strategy in North America, a key market for the Lavazza Group. In line with the recent incorporation of Carte Noire and Merrild, with this takeover Lavazza intends to enhance the brand equity of Kicking Horse Coffee, sharing skills and values.



Kicking Horse Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee, Ltd., based in Invermere, British Columbia (Canada), celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016. A pioneer in the organic and Fair trade coffee segment in Canada, the brand is known for its specific aromas and unique and distinctive brand equity. The company recently ranked 10th Best Place to Work in Canada. For more information, please visit:




Lavazza was founded in Turin in 1895, and is an Italian coffee producer that has been owned by the same family for four generations. Among the major coffee roasters in the world, the group is now present in more than 90 countries through subsidiaries and distributors, exporting more than 60% of its production. It has roughly 3,000 employees, with a turnover of €1.9 billion in 2016 and right from its origins, invented the concept of blending, or the art of combining different typologies and geographical origins of coffee, that is a feature today and continues to characterize the majority of its products.
The company is ranked sixth in Italy in terms of reputation, according to the Reputation Institute, with its 25 year-long tradition producing and marketing systems and products for the portioned coffee segment and having garnered a name as the first Italian company to develop espresso capsule systems.
Lavazza is present in all settings: in the home, outside the home and in the office, constantly striving for innovation. The brand is now famous throughout the world, owing to its important partnerships, which are consistent with the brand's internationalization strategy, including collaborations in the world of sport, with Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and in art and culture with prestigious museums such as the Guggenheim in New York and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in Russia.



Profits for 2016 totalled €82.2 million, which cannot be compared to the 2015 result, as the latter was boosted by capital gains of €822.8 million, realized on the sale of the shareholding in Keurig Green Mountain.



The net financial position stood at €687.5 million (€1,351 million in 2015).



Lavazza retained its leadership in the Italian market, increasing its share to 41% despite the fact that coffee consumption decreased for the third consecutive year. In particular, the new product portfolio and a clear product segmentation strategy for the various customer types enabled the roll out of important innovations, in line with current trends in Italy and around the world.



With the acquisition of Carte Noire, the French manufacturing plant at Lavérune is now part of the Group’s industrial system and one of the main production facilities alongside Settimo Torinese and Gattinara in Italy. The company has invested €16 million to redesign the entire plant, with extensive modernization work carried out to ensure it can manage future developments with hi-tech production lines.



“We are a company that loves to talk about our “heritage,” but we also have a vision for the future and a passion for excellence. This approach allowed us to incorporate Carte Noire and Merrild in record time,” says Marco Lavazza, Vice President of Lavazza. “We saw this acquisition as an enrichment, a mutual opportunity where each party complements the other, opening up new perspectives and shared pathways of innovation and technology. We invested in people and processes to achieve a rapid, efficient and satisfactory integration for all.”