JAB and Nestlé prey on Illy

JAB and Nestlé prey on Illy

There is no end to the consolidations in the coffee branch: both JAB (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) and Nestlé have expressed interest in Italian coffee maker Illycaffè, but it is not sure if the family owners want to sell.


Independent coffee producer

Press agency Bloomberg states that JAB Holding and Nestlé (active in coffee through Nescafé and Nespresso) have issued an offer to Illy, but insiders say the owners are not likely to sell. Nestlé and JAB refuse to comment, while chairman Andrea Illy says any hypothesis of corporate agreement "has been deemed inappropriate". 


Illy was founded in 1933 and is currently in the hands of the third generation of the family, reaching a 460 million euro turnover in 140 countries. The selling price could be up to three times that figure though.


In a market dominated by Nestlé, JAB and Starbucks, Illy remains (for now) one of the largest independent coffee roasters in the world. However, analysts mean that competing against these three giants will become increasingly difficult, which is why Illy Group is looking for a strong financial partners - also for its other activities like tea or coffee. An IPO reportedly is amongst the possibilities.