14th January 2022
Caffè Nero Refinances Its Debt and Establishes a New Growth Platform
Premium coffee house brand Caffe Nero today announces the completion of the refinancing of all its debt. The Caffè Nero Group (“The Group”) has entered into a new debt agreement with Carlyle, HSBC and Santander.
The six-year loan of approximately £330m also has with it additional facilities of £85m available for growth opportunities. Majority ownership of The Group remains with Gerry Ford, founder and Group CEO, alongside his family and friends. As a result of this new debt agreement, the EG Group is no longer a holder of any of The Caffè Nero Group’s debt.
With the new loan arrangement, The Group has reduced its debt exposure by c.15% whilst securing additional facilities for significant growth. Gerry Ford commented “This is a great platform for us to grow our business, including: opening up new stores, investing in digital channels, developing our coffee at home program and building our brand in international territories.”
The Group currently operates four brands (Caffe Nero, Coffee #1, Harris + Hole and Aroma) across 1020 stores in 10 countries. Pre-Covid 19, The Group had delivered notable success, registering 86 consecutive quarters of positive like-for-like sales growth. In the second half of 2021, with restrictions lifted, Caffè Nero started to return to its normal strong operating performance. Sales in in the first-half of its Financial Year (June-November 2021) were up 61% with EBITDA for the same period recorded at £29.4m. Like-for-like sales at the end of November 2021 were tracking at 90% of FY19 levels.
The Group employs more than 5,600 people in the U.K. and has more than 7,700 individuals working for its four brands across 10 territories. Gerry Ford commented, “It’s great to have our family business returning to its successful pre-Covid levels. We were a strong business before Covid-19, and now having weathered the pandemic, survived a hostile takeover attempt, won the court case against the EG Group and paid back our emergency banking loans over the last 21 months, we have shown incredible resilience and I believe we will come out of these challenging times even stronger than we were before.”
“I want to thank our dedicated, fantastic store teams who worked so hard under such difficult conditions over these past 21 months. Likewise, our senior operators, central support team and department leads as well as our executive management team have been nothing short of heroic and I could not be prouder of them. We truly have fabulous people and that is what has enabled us to get through.”
“I also want to thank our previous banking partners, especially HSBC, Santander, Rabobank and Lloyds who stuck by us in these difficult times.”
“I now look forward to taking the Caffè Nero brand to new heights as we forge ahead with our new partners.”
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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