Amtek Group co Rollatainers picking management control of coffee chain Barista

Haryana-based packaging company Rollatainers Ltd, owned by Arvind Dham-controlled Amtek Group, has signed definitive agreements to acquire stake in India's oldest and second-largest coffee chain Barista, currently a subsidiary of Italy's Lavazza, as per a stock market disclosure.

It did not specify the value of the deal but separate media reports have said Barista could be valued at Rs 80-100 crore.

"The decision to move out of Barista has been taken accordingly with the global business guidelines of the group to no longer manage directly the coffee shop business," said Antonio Baravalle, CEO of Lavazza.

"India continues to remain an extremely important market to Lavazza's international operations and it is strategic to the brand's overall growth initiatives across the world," Baravalle added. 

The company, which has a production unit for coffee in the country, will continue to supply coffee to Barista through a long-term supply agreement.

The deal is through Rollatainers’ wholly owned subsidiary Carnation Hospitality Pvt Ltd (Carnation). Rollatainers, a public listed firm, is owned by the promoters of Amtek Group, which is known for its flagship auto component company Amtek Auto.

The move would expand the company’s recent entry into the food and beverage space. Last month, Rollatainers said that it has entered the food business by acquiring an undisclosed stake in two restaurant chains besides an in-house dining chain and banqueting service arm associated with Mapple Hotels and is also bringing UK’s Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain into India.

For Barista, which operates the second largest coffee chain in India with additional presence in the UAE, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, this deal marks the fourth owner in its 14-year history.

The firm was established in 2000 by Turner Morrison in India and Ravi Deol served as the first CEO, setting up 128 stores in the country and three in Sri Lanka.

Later serial entrepreneur C Sivasankaran bought a controlling stake and also acquired the minority partner Tata Group. He later sold the firm to Lavazza in 2007 along with the Fresh & Honest coffee-vending machine business.

It lost the first mover advantage in the coffee chain business as Café Coffee Day went about aggressively expanding to emerge as the largest player in India. Besides Café Coffee Day, Barista-Lavazza competes with the likes of Costa Coffee and the world leader in the space Starbucks that entered India recently. 

Earlier, Indian Hospitality Corp (IHC), which is now led by former head of Barista Deol, was reportedly in talks to buy Barista but the deal got stuck over the price. 

Shares of Rollatainers were trading at Rs 337.90 each, up 4.47 per cent on BSE in a strong Mumbai market on Tuesday at 10.09 am.

Rothschild was the financial advisor and Desai & Diwanji was the legal advisor to Lavazza in this transaction.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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