Nestlé has purchased a majority stake in the upscale Blue Bottle Coffee Company, which will have opened more than 50 stores in key markets in the United States and Japan by the end of 2017, as per a report in Financial Times.
The deal values the coffee chain and roastery at more than $700 million.
As per Reuters, the deal sees the world’s biggest maker of packaged food reaching out to the kind of choosy consumers who are turning away from its mass market brands like Nescafe coffee and Digiorno frozen pizza.
Nestlé said in a release that Blue Bottle will operate as a standalone entity with its current management team, including CEO Bryan Meehan and founder and chief product officer James Freeman, remaining in place. Management will hold onto 32 per cent of the business. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blue Bottle said in a release that the deal will let the company develop new coffee technology, open new locations domestically and internationally, and expand its product line in stores.