Dutch company acquires Bell Tea
Well known Kiwi brands Bell Tea and Hummingbird Coffee will soon grace the tables of overseas consumers as the company prepares for a new export future under a foreign owner.
Netherlands company Jacobs Douwe Egberts(JDE) paid more than $100 million for BrewGroup, which also owns Jed’s Coffee, Gravity Coffee and Tiora Tea, as well as Bell, and Christchurchbased Hummingbird.
The Overseas Investment Office approved the sale by BrewGroup’s former shareholders Pencarrow Private Equity and its chief executive Mark Hamilton.
He said BrewGroup would become part of the world’s second largest coffee company, offering international marketing opportunities when the businesses become integrated after February.
Hamilton said there would also be local efficiencies with JDE using the BrewGroup distribution warehouse in Auckland for its moccona freeze dried coffee.
The merged business would employ more than 250 people, most of them in Auckland.
The Bell Tea Company, established in Dunedin in 1895, was sold to Pencarrow Equity in late 2013 by Foodstuffs.
Bell Tea then acquired Hummingbird Coffee in early 2016 and its name was changed to BrewGroup as coffee sales outstripped tea sales.