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14th January 2022

Caffè Nero buys Brain’s Minority Stake in Coffee#1

The Nero Group (“The Group”) today announces that it has reached an agreement to acquire SA Brain’s remaining 33% stake in Coffee#1. The Group and one of its supportive shareholders originally bought 67% of Coffee#1 in 2019 from owner S.A. Brain, the Welsh Brewery.

Coffee#1 operates across Wales, the Midlands and Southern England, and opened its first store in 2011. Since buying the majority share of the Coffee#1 business in 2019, the Group has managed the Coffee#1 brand, including making significant operating improvements and growing the business from 92 stores to 102 stores today.

Coffee#1 has proven to be a robust business. Its strength and popularity has been demonstrated through its quick rebound from the pandemic following the removal of restrictions. It has averaged 104% of pre-pandemic sales over the last four months. Plans are for Coffee#1 to continue to operate as a standalone brand alongside the Group’s other brands: Caffè Nero, Harris+Hoole and Aroma.

The recent refinancing process completed in January 2022 by The Nero Group has given it a platform for growth going forward. The acquisition of Brain’s minority stake in Coffee#1 is part of the Group’s strategy of pushing ahead with its growth ambitions.

Gerry Ford, Founder and Group CEO of The Nero Group, commented: “We’ve been delighted with the performance of the Coffee#1 business since it joined our Group in 2019. It is a fantastic brand with an emphasis on great coffee and service combined with a local community-based feel, which matches perfectly with the ethos of The Nero Group. As we emerge from the pandemic, our intention is to return to growing stores in our Group and investing in growth opportunities. Coffee#1 is very much part of that thinking. Acquiring Brain’s remaining position is the first step of this post- refinancing growth phase.”

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors:

About Caffè Nero Group Ltd:

  • Caffè Nero is the largest independent coffee house group in Europe.
  • Caffè Nero remains a family owned and operated business.
  • The Nero Group operates over 1,000 stores across 10 countries.
  • The Group has more than 650 Caffè Nero stores across the UK.
  • The Nero Group currently employs over 5,500 people in the UK.
  • Since 2016, through its charitable foundation, Caffè Nero has donated over a quarter of a million pounds to
    UK causes and funded schools and farmers in the communities which help produce its coffee beans.
  • Caffè Nero was founded by Gerry Ford in 1997.
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