, UK

Caffè Nero group completes debt refinancing

This effectively ends a takeover bid from the Issa brothers' EG Group.

The Caffè Nero Group announced it has completed the refinancing of all its debt, having entered into a new debt agreement with Carlyle, HSBC and Santander.

The six-year loan of approximately £330 million also has additional facilities of £85 million available for growth opportunities, the company said.

Majority ownership of the group remains with founder and CEO Gerry Ford, 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. Last April, billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, both of whom own the petrol forecourt business, reportedly acquired between £140 to £160 million of Caffe Nero’s debt.

“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,” Ford said in a statement.

Aside from Caffe Nero, the group currently operates Coffee #1, Harris + Hole and Aroma across 1020 stores in ten countries. Sales in the first-half of its financial year (June to November 2021) were up 61% with EBITDA for the same period recorded at £29.4 million. Like-for-like sales at the end of November 2021 were tracking at 90% of FY19 levels, it added.

“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,” Ford added.

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