Money Matters - Simplified

Green Mountain Coffee to buy Van Houtte

Waterbury, Vt. -- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Vermont said Tuesday it would purchase all the outstanding shares of Canadian rival Van Houtte for $890 million.

The deal with Van Houtte, currently owned by equity firm Littlejohn & Co., is subject to regulatory review, but is expected to close by the end of the year, Green Mountain said in a statement.

"We have had a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with Van Houtte since 2001 when they first became a Keurig licensee and we're confident that the company and its well known Canadian brands … are great additions to GMCR," said Green Mountain President and Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Blanford.

The deal gives GMCR a stronger presence in Canada, where Van Houtte sells Van Houtte, Brulerie St. Denis, Les Cafes Orient Express Coffee and Brulerie Mont Royal brands.

GMCR said Van Houtte President and CEO Gerard Geoffrion would stay on to lead the Van Houtte brand business north of the border after the deal closes.

GMCR did not mention layoffs in its press release, but said Van Houtte currently employs 1,700 people in the United States and Canada.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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