Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has acquired a 33% stake in La Colombe with a capital investment of $300m in the US coffee roaster.
Under the deal, KDP will take over the sales and distribution of La Colombe’s shelf-stable RTD coffee beverages.
The Keurig pod producer will also manufacture, sell and distribute a new Keurig cup – or K-Cup – in partnership with La Colombe under a licence agreement that covers the US and Canada.
The handover of La Colombe’s RTD coffee distribution to KDP will take place towards the end of 2023, with the La Colombe K-Cup pods launching next year.
KDP CEO Bob Gamgort said: “This partnership will enable KDP to expand its reach into high-growth ready-to-drink and super premium coffee segments and will meaningfully increase La Colombe’s availability to consumers.”
With the capital investment of $300m – to close in the third quarter – KDP will become La Colombe’s second largest investor, behind its majority owner and chairperson Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of US dairy business Chobani. La Colombe indicated the capital will be used to pay off company debt, as well as accelerate growth.
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A spokesperson for KDP said: “KDP’s investment in La Colombe represents a multiple of approximately three times estimated 2024 consolidated net sales.”
Founded in 1994, La Colombe also has several on-premise sites in New York, Texas, Chicago, California, Maryland and Philadelphia.
In 2020, Molson Coors signed a distribution deal with La Colombe for its Draft Latte and Brazilian Cold Brew range in the US off-premise channel. The agreement came just over a year after the two companies trialled two 4.2% abv cold brew coffees in selected US markets.
The Keurig coffee and Dr Pepper CSD maker has made other moves to broaden its portfolio in the last 12 months. Last year, KDP bought shares in US non-alcoholic beer maker Athletic Brewing Co. The deal came five months after the company acquired non-alcoholic ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique.