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CapVest acquires controlling stake in Dutch-based coffee company, Drie Mollen from Gilde Buy Out Partners and AAC Capital Partners


Gilde Buy Out Partners (“Gilde”) and AAC Capital Partners (“AAC”) have sold their combined stake in Drie Mollen International B.V. (“Drie Mollen”), one of Europe’s leading premium specialty coffee roasting companies, 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 buy-out. 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 over the last couple of years reinforced its top ten position in the European coffee and tea market through operations spread across the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, France and Germany. In addition, it has developed a strong position in over 15 export markets. Drie Mollen consists of a network of specialised coffee companies and combines a strong local-for-local approach with efficient and large-scale roasting facilities. The company’s turnover was approximately €300 million in 2007 and it generated an annual production of over 50,000 tonnes. Under the successful stewardship of Gilde and AAC, Drie Mollen has enjoyed solid expansion based around an ambitious organic growth and acquisition strategy.

Christopher Campbell, CapVest Partner, commented:

“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.”

Kees Krikke, Chief Executive Officer of Drie Mollen, said:

“Drie Mollen has been able to really strengthen its business with the support of Gilde and AAC. The group has an excellent position for further international expansion and we are excited about our new partners CapVest Equity Partners who are committed to support us in our growth ambitions.”

Boudewijn Molenaar, Managing Director of Gilde, commented:

“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.”

Marc Staal, Managing Partner of AAC, adds:

“In addition to growth by acquisition, we focused the company on its organic growth potential resulting in the sale of the vending activities and rationalisation of its retail presence. At the same time we built on its strong manufacturing footprint, category management and leadership in the coffee pads segment. The company is now in a perfect shape to enter a new phase of profitable European expansion.”


Gilde Buy Out Partners 
Hein Ploegmakers
+31 (0)30 219 2514

Boer & Croon (for AAC Capital Partners)
Hein Greven
+31 (0)6 55 19 6587

Reputation Inc. (For CapVest Equity Partners) 
John Keilthy +353 (0)1 478 6243
Ben Valdimarsson +353 (0)86 173 5123

Drie Mollen
Kees Krikke +31 (0)73 548 2260

Notes to Editors:

Advisers to the sellers
Legal: Clifford Chance
Corporate Finance: Rabo Securities
Financial and tax due diligence: KPMG Transaction Services
Commercial due diligence: Booz Allen & Hamilton
Environmental due diligence: Tauw

Advisers to the buyer:
Corporate Finance: ING and CIBC
Financial and Tax due diligence: KPMG
Insurance Due Diligence: Aon
Legal: Linklaters
Debt financing was provided by Rabobank.

CapVest Equity Partners

CapVest is a European private equity firm specialising in mid-market European LBOs. Established in 1999, CapVest has a significant track record and experience in a range of industries, notably the food and beverage and healthcare sectors. Since inception, CapVest has invested in businesses in Northern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics and the UK and Ireland. Currently CapVest has assets under management in excess of €2.5 billion.

Gilde Buy Out Partners

Gilde Buy Out Partners is one of Europe’s foremost mid-market private equity investors, with managed funds in excess of €1.3 billion. Gilde independently operates in the Benelux and its neighbouring economies France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. With offices in The Netherlands, Switzerland and France and its multinational team, Gilde is truly entrenched in these markets and can offer local expertise coupled with European reach and execution skills. Since its inception in 1982, Gilde has invested in over 250 companies across a diverse range of sectors. The Gilde Buy Out Funds are subscribed by over 30 institutional investors which include some of the world’s leading financial institutions, pension funds and specialised investment funds.

2007 has been another successful year for Gilde with five new investments (Novasep (FR), Nedschroef (NL), Novagraaf (NL), Swets & Zeitlinger (NL) and Hoffman Menu (DE)) and a number of prominent exits (CABB (DE), Armacell (DE), Norit (NL) and GB Ingredients (NL).

AAC Capital Partners

AAC Capital Partners (formerly ABN AMRO Capital) is one of Europe’s leading private equity firms, with teams operating in three countries in Northern Europe (the Netherlands, UK, and Sweden) and funds under management of €3.1 billion. AAC Capital Partners’ main focus is to back management buyouts and management buy-ins of profitable, cash-generative Northern European companies, usually with a value between €50 – €500 million in the industrial, services and consumer sectors.

In 2007, AAC Capital Partners executed eight buyouts (Empower, Ocean Media, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, OyezStraker, T.G.I. Friday’s, Baarsma Wine Group, Sdu, Vetus). AAC Capital Partners has recently completed successful exits from FABORY, GGP, TMI, Alviro, Park Resorts and Iittala.

Drie Mollen International

The Drie Mollen Group is an internationally expanding coffee roaster with offices in the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain. The group has a leading position in the European market for private labels and holds leading local positions in the higher end of the out-of-home espresso market in the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland and Spain. Drie Mollen has a track record in international expansion and is committed to further expand internationally. In 2007 the group achieved a turnover of approximately € 300 million and employs 900 staff.