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Welbilt To Enter Coffee Business With Crem Int’l. Acquisition

Welbilt Inc. will gain a foothold in the hot beverage market through a newly announced definitive agreement to acquire Avaj International Holding AB (Crem Int’l.). Welbilt will buy the Swedish coffee machine maker, currently majority owned by two private equity firms, for approximately $224 million. The acquisition from Priveq Investment Fund IV L.P. and SEB Venture Capital is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, subject to certain closing conditions.

Crem, headquartered in Solna, Sweden, manufactures Coffee Queen, Expobar and Spengler manual and automatic espresso and filter coffee machines as well as instant, liquid, freestanding machines at plants in Åmotfors, Sweden, Gandia, Spain, and Shanghai, China. In 2017, Crem sold approximately $90 million of its products to operators in more than 80 countries.

“The acquisition of Crem International is the first step in realizing our ambition to complement our organic growth strategy with select bolt-on acquisitions,” stated Hubertus Muehlhaeuser, Welbilt’s President and CEO.

Adding Crem to its brand portfolio not only gives Welbilt a foothold in the fast-growing hot coffee category, adds Muehlhaeuser, it provides the New Port Richey, Fla., company the broadest portfolio of hot and cold beverage equipment of any company in the market.

“Crem is very strong in Europe and Asia, supporting our strategic objective of expanding our presence in these two important regions. We foresee significant cross-selling opportunities between Crem’s and Welbilt’s respective customer bases in those regions, and see further opportunity to bring Crem to Welbilt’s customer base in the U.S. and include it as a core offering in our fitkitchen system solutions.”

Sebastian Lindstroem, CEO of Crem International notes, “We at Crem International are delighted to join forces with Welbilt. Jointly with our shareholders we have built Crem into one of the global leaders in professional coffee machines with a unique breadth of technology and solutions with a highly innovative and competitive product portfolio. Within Welbilt’s strong family of brands and products, we will be able to further expand the reach of our product portfolio through improved market access and our current customers will benefit from Welbilt’s expertise in new product development and manufacturing process improvement.”

Welbilt operates 17 manufacturing facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, and generated sales of $1.45 billion in 2017. 

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