Mars agrees to sell drinks business to Italian coffee maker

Mars Inc. is shedding its drinks business specializing in coffee and tea.

The McLean-based global manufacturer behind products such as M&M’s and Snickers agreed to sell its drinks division to Italian coffee company Lavazza Group.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Reuters estimates the deal at around $650 million, including debt.

Mars Drinks generated about $350 million in revenue in 2017 and has about 900 employees. The division includes the single-serve Flavia coffee machine systems and the Klix freestanding coffee vending machine system.

Lavazza is making the acquisition in an attempt to expand into North America, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and France and tighten its grip on the office coffee service and vending segments.

The deal, which is Lavazza’s latest in a string that includes coffeemakers Carte Noire and Kicking Horse Coffee, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, we profiled the privately-held Mars in our Family Owned Business Awards.…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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