[M]ars Drinks, the coffee business arm of the iconic candy company Mars, Inc., has been sold to Italian coffee roaster Lavazza Group for a reported $650 million. Mars Drinks currently employs 900 people and had sales of $350 million last year. When the deal closes, Lavazza is expected to take over Mars’ established coffee business in North America, Canada, Japan, and Europe, as well as production plants in Britain and North America. The company procured a $463 million loan from BNP Paribas, Intesa Sanpaolo, and UniCredit to secure the deal.
Lavazza is currently the coffee market leader in Italy, and third largest player in the global market with 2.5% of market share. The deal strengthens Lavazza’s office and coffee vending segments, as well as increases Lavazza’s presence globally.