CapVest acquires Drie Mollen

Gilde Buy Out Partners and AAC Capital Partners have sold their combined stake in Drie Mollen International, the European specialty coffee roasting company, to CapVest Equity Partners II LP for an undisclosed sum.

Gilde and AAC, together with management, acquired Drie Mollen, in November 2002 in a management buyout. Since the buyout, the company has pursued a focused growth strategy that has transformed Drie Mollen into a Europe-wide player uniquely positioned between large branded international and small local coffee roasters.

Drie Mollen, founded in 1818, has developed a strong position in more than 15 export markets and consists of a network of specialised coffee companies and large-scale roasting facilities. The company’s turnover was about €300m in 2007 and it generated annual production of over 50,000 tonnes.

Christopher Campbell, a CapVest partner, said: “Drie Mollen represents a compelling opportunity to invest in a market leader in the European coffee sector. CapVest is delighted to support the management team in the next phase of the company’s development.

“We intend to leverage Drie Mollen’s multi-channel, pan-European platform to capitalise on opportunities in existing and new markets. We believe there is strong potential to accelerate growth through investment in innovation and the pursuit of value-enhancing acquisitions.”

Boudewijn Molenaar, managing director of Gilde, said: “This has been a very successful investment for us. We are pleased to have supported the company to implement their buy-and-build strategy and help them focus on making the company more efficient.

“Simultaneously with our investment, the company acquired Swiss local coffee roaster Giger in 2002, targeting the out-of-home segment of the market, and has since continued on the acquisition path by acquiring Swiss coffee company Merkur in 2004 and UK-based First Choice Coffee in 2006. These companies have been successfully integrated within Drie Mollen and have enabled Drie Mollen to expand its activities in the high-growth out-of-home segment.”