The acquisition, reportedly worth $650m (£499m), would see Lavazza gain Mars’ coffee businesses in North America, Germany, the UK, France, Canada and Japan, including its related systems and its production facilities in the UK and US.
Lavazza’s purchase also included Mars Drinks’ Flavia table-top coffee machine business; the Klix freestanding vending machine business; and its portfolio of coffee and other hot beverages under both proprietary brands, as well as through licensed brands.
Antonio Baravalle, Lavazza chief executive, said: “This acquisition fits perfectly within our international expansion strategy, the objective of strengthening key markets, as well as the pursuit of having an even closer relationship with end-consumers.
“Today’s transaction with Mars Incorporated is consistent with a common vision and shared values between two prominent family-owned companies who have a strong focus on delivering quality products with uncompromising commitment to our employees and associates, with a long-term vision.”
The deal is expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and procedures being completed.
Commenting on the sale, Mars chief executive Grant F. Reid said: “Mars Drinks has been an important part of our business for many years, and while it’s always hard to say goodbye to great brands, valued associates and friends, we believe now is the right time for a change.
‘Continue to thrive’
“We are confident this decision will better enable long-term success for the Drinks business with Lavazza – a company that shares our values and has a dedicated focus on beverages – and will allow the business and its associates to continue to thrive.”
Lavazza’s purchase of Mars Drinks followed a number of acquisitions by food and drink manufacturers over the past month.
Earlier this week, Cornish speciality fudge and chocolate maker County’s was acquired by its Scandinavian ingredients supplier.
Meanwhile, last month, fresh prepared food manufacturer Bakkavor Group acquired Haydens Bakery from Real Good Food for £12m.