Caffè Nero Group buys SA Brain stake to own Coffee#1 outright

The Nero Group, which operates the Caffè Nero, Harris+Hoole and Aroma brands, has bought the remaining 33% stake in Coffee#1 from Welsh brewery SA Brain, adding to the 67% stake it originally bought in 2019.

Since buying the majority share (67%) of the Coffee#1 business in 2019, the group has managed the Coffee#1 brand, including making significant operating improvements and growing the business from 92 stores to 102 stores today.

Coffee#1 has proven to be a robust business. Its strength and popularity has been demonstrated through its quick rebound from the pandemic following the removal of restrictions.

It has averaged 104% of pre-pandemic sales over the last four months. Plans are for Coffee#1 to continue to operate as a standalone brand alongside the Group’s other brands: Caffè Nero, Harris+Hoole and Aroma.

The recent refinancing process completed in January 2022 by The Nero Group has given it a platform for growth going forward, and the acquisition of Brain’s minority stake in Coffee#1 is part of the group’s strategy of pushing ahead with its growth ambitions.

Founder and Group CEO of The Nero Group, Gerry Ford said, “We’ve been delighted with the performance of the Coffee#1 business since it joined our Group in 2019.

'It is a fantastic brand with an emphasis on great coffee and service combined with a local community-based feel, which matches perfectly with the ethos of The Nero Group.

'As we emerge from the pandemic, our intention is to return to growing stores in our Group and investing in growth opportunities. Coffee#1 is very much part of that thinking. Acquiring Brain’s remaining position is the first step of this post-refinancing growth phase,”