Trieste, Italy based Illycaffè S.p.A. (also known as Illy Coffee) announced that it had sold a minority stake of the company to affiliates of Rhône Capital.

Rhône Capital is a global private equity firm that focuses on investments in businesses with a pan-European, North American or transatlantic presence.

Rhône’s investment style means developing long-term partnerships with the companies in which it invests. It has a strong history of working with family-owned businesses and operates across its London, New York and Madrid offices.

The company has invested in a range of companies including investments in the business services, consumer, and industrial sectors.

For this reason, Illycaffè chose Rhône as its strategic partner to assist the company into its next phase of international development.

Andrea Illycaffè, Chairman of illycaffè, said:

We chose Rhône as a travel companion for this next phase of growth because of their deep, global experience in strategically partnering with family-owned companies and based on their ability to understand illy’s unique, premium positioning rooted in its superior quality, longstanding heritage and authentic, sustainable business model.

By partnering with illycaffè, Rhône has demonstrated that it shares our inclusive approach to value creation, which considers all our stakeholders and is deployed in combination with the pursuit of the highest ethical standards in running our business.

I strongly believe that Rhône will be an ideal partner as we continue to realize our dream of offering the greatest coffee to the world, which is our foundation and uncompromised vision for the future.

Illycaffè is an Italian family business, founded in 1933 producing the unique Illy 100% Arabica blend. More than 8 million cups  are consumed everyday in over 140 countries in cafés, restaurants, hotels, offices and homes.

Illy Coffee

Illycaffè decided on this partnership with Rhône for its ability to contribute to illy’s international footprint expansion, particularly in the US, and will serve as a resource to further strengthen the Company’s platform in executing its growth plans.

Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of Illycaffè said,

Rhône has a formidable track record in helping its portfolio companies grow internationally, particularly in the US, a key market in our growth plans.

In addition to Rhône’s partnership approach to investing, I truly welcome their contribution to illycaffè’s Board thanks to Rhône’s proven expertise in supporting the implementation of the strategic plans and particularly the initiatives related to digital transformation, a key strategic lever within illy’s plans and a capability that is becoming increasingly relevant in the current business environment.”

Rhône also expressed how they are looking forward to working with the Illy family and the board to support them in this journey.

Robert Agostinelli, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Rhône said,

We are honored to have been chosen by Andrea Illy and the rest of his family as their partner to support them in their long-term international strategic objectives.

Illycaffè is a standard bearer of how multi-generational family ownership can shepherd and enhance a sterling brand identity across the globe.

We were drawn to the quality of illy’s underlying business, their approach to value creation, and their impeccable ethical standards, which are reflected in both their corporate governance and commitment to sustainability.”

Completion of the transaction is expected to take place by the end of the first quarter of 2021 subject to customary regulatory approvals.


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