Italian coffee group Illy has asked company advisor Roland Berger to look at all strategic options for the family business, which included a possible IPO according to the Financial Times. CEO Andrea Illy denies that to be the case.
Branch in full motion
The paper believes Roland Berger has to assist Illy in its strategic reorientation now that the coffee industry is in the process of consolidation: Mondelez and DE Master Blenders 1753 have already joined forces, while Lavazza acquired Carte Noir and Massimo Zanetta (Segafredo) recently went to the stock exchange to acquire additional funds to enable acquisitions.
The business paper therefore alluded to a possible IPO for Illy, but "an IPO is not part of our current plans. The idea is just a distant thought at the moment. Roland Berger is merely there to help audit our strategy", CEO Andrea Illy told the La Stampa newspaper. An industrial or financial investor will also not be an option. "We do not intend to bring in additional shareholders, but we are looking at a new growth strategy", Illy said.
Illycaffè's founding family is still in full control of the company that had a 2014 turnover of 391 million euro. CEO Andrea Illy is founder Francesco's grandson while his brother Ricardo and sister Anna also work for the company. Anna Rossi, wife to the late Ernesto Illy and mother to Andrea, Ricardo and Anna, is the company's honorary president.
Illy manufacturers 6 million cups of coffee per day which are sold in over 100,000 bars, spread across 140 countries although about half of its production is still destined for its home market, Italy. The Illy family not only has a stake in the coffee business, but also in the chocolate (Domori), tea (Dammann), wine (Mastrojanni), ice cream (Grom) and jam (Agrimontana) business.