FINANCE

Private equity firms acquire The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

BY Marianne Wilson

Boston — A group of private equity companies, including Advent International and CDIB Capital, have joined together to acquire a significant equity position in International Coffee & Tea, which owns and operates stores under The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf banner, with an eye on expanding in Asia. Other investors participating in the transaction include Mirae Asset Private Equity and the Sassoon family (the latter is the largest existing shareholder of The Coffee Bean, and is remaining as a substantial shareholder).

The transaction was completed on Sept. 12 and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We are excited to welcome Advent, CDIB Capital and Mirae as new investors in our company," said Mel Elias, president and CEO of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. "This is an important and exciting development for our customers and team members, reflecting the strong international growth and continued opportunity for coffee, particularly in Asia.

The Los Angeles-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf operates more than 900 company-owned and franchised stores across 15 U.S. states and spanning some 30 countries.

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FINANCE

Lululemon net income dips

BY Dan Berthiaume

Vancouver, B.C. – Lululemon Athletica Inc. reported a slight drop in net income during second quarter 2013.

Net income dipped about 1% to $56.45 million, from $57.7 million.

Net revenue grew 22% to $344.5 million from $282.6 million, and same-store sales increased 8%.

Christine Day, the outgoing CEO of Lululemon (she is staying until a replacement is found), said the retailer has worked its way back from the negative impact of having to recall yoga pants made from black luon that turned out to be see-through in March of this year. Lululemon is also entering an exclusive agreement to use Noble Biomaterials’ X-static antimicrobial technology in its performance apparel to help eliminate odor.

“We have not only worked our way back from the black luon setback, but have also added very talented people in important functions and have taken major steps forward on a number of key fronts including the expansion of our international and men’s businesses and many logistical initiatives,” said Day. “In addition, our exclusive partnership with Noble announced today and additional sources for luon will help to ensure that Lululemon remains a distinct leader in quality and innovation. We are well on our way to finishing 2013 as a much stronger company than when the year began. I am confident that the leadership currently in place coupled with a new CEO will have tremendous success leveraging the platform for growth."

For the third quarter of this fiscal year, Lululemon expects net revenue to be in the range of $370 million to $375 million based on a same-store sales percentage increase in the mid-single digits. Full-year net revenue is expected to reach $1.625 billion to $1.635 billion.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Trader Joe’s ending part-timers’ health benefits

BY Dan Berthiaume

Monrovia, Calif. – Trader Joe’s will reportedly stop offering health benefits to part-time employees next year.

According to Bloomberg, employees who work less than 30 hours per week will no longer be eligible for corporate health benefits as of Jan. 1, 2014. That date is when the U.S, Affordable Care Act mandates employers start offering all full-time workers affordable coverage.

Part-time employees will receive a $500 stipend to assist them in purchasing health insurance on their own. A statement from Trader Joe’s indicates the company thinks most affected workers will be able to obtain their own insurance at little or no extra cost due to the stipend and federal tax credits that will become available next year.

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