Business Irish

Thursday 22 August 2019

Coffee firm Java Republic's Spain sale

Grace O'Shaughnessy, Java Republic
Grace O'Shaughnessy, Java Republic
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Spanish coffee company Cafento has bought Irish coffee roaster and distributor Java Republic in a deal reckoned to be worth around €30m.

The Irish management team led by Grace O'Shaughnessy and Jeffrey Long will remain in place after the deal, while Cafento intends to oversee Java Republic's domestic and international expansion. Owner David McKernan put the Irish company up for sale last year having founded the business 20 years ago at the start of what has become an explosion in coffee drinking.

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Mr McKernan has spoken publicly about the strain on the business during the crash, after borrowing in 2007 to fund a major €7m capital investment in its Ballycoolin, Co Dublin, coffee roastery

But the firm is profitable. In 2017, profits came to €409,000, according to the most recently filed accounts.

Last year the business invested €500,000 in reinvigorating its brand and has said 2018 was a record year. Java Republic has 80 staff and supplies more than 1,200 offices, hotel groups, cafés and catering services.

Customers include Aer Lingus and its IAG sister British Airways. The 'Sunday Independent' first reported in December that Java Republic had been put up for sale.

Musgrave Group had been tipped as a potential buyer. It is acquisitive and has its own Frank & Honest coffee brand and owns the La Rousse catering supply firm.

Irish Independent

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