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Van Houtte Sells Its Stake In Keurig


April 29, 2008
By Canadian Vending Staff

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MONTREAL – Coffee retailer Van Houtte Inc. has sold its stake in the U.S.-based Keurig coffee equipment manufacturer for $37.8 million, the Montreal company announced in early May.

MONTREAL – Coffee retailer Van Houtte Inc. has sold its stake in the U.S.-based Keurig coffee equipment manufacturer for $37.8 million, the Montreal company announced in early May.
 
Van Houtte said it had sold its stake in a transaction that will see Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. take full ownership of Keurig.

Green Mountain already held 35 per cent of Keurig’s shares on a fully diluted basis.

Van Houtte will book a non-recurring pre-tax gain of about $22 million on the sale, or after-tax earnings of about 77 cents a share, which the company will record in its fiscal 2007 first quarter that ends July 22.
The transaction is expected to close by June 15.

Despite the sale, Keurig will remain a strategic partner of Van Houtte, the company said. Keurig, based in Wakefield, Mass., manufactures the Keurig single-serve coffee maker.

In early 2002, Van Houtte paid $9.5 million US to acquire 23.7 per cent of the company, which then was starting up. The company has since seen its sales and profitability soar. Van Houtte uses Keurig coffeemakers and sells its coffees in Keurig sealed cups across its North-American coffee services network.

“We have always treated our stake in Keurig as an investment,” said Van Houtte chief executive Jean-Yves Monette. “Our business relations were therefore conducted at arm’s length, and in this regard nothing will change between us. We will continue to buy Keurig coffeemakers and use their licensed technology to package our own coffees as in the past.

“This transaction will, of course, have a major impact on our balance sheet,” added Monette. “For now, it does not change our business strategy but it does free up funds and create strategic opportunities.”
For more information, visit www.vanhoutte.com