Caffe Nero has announced the completion of the refinancing of all its debt after entering into an agreement with Carlyle, HSBC and Santander.
The six-year loan of approximately £330m also has with it additional facilities of £85m available for growth opportunities.
Majority ownership of the group remains with Gerry Ford, founder and Group CEO, alongside his family and friends.
As a result of this new debt agreement, the EG Group is no longer a holder of any of The Caffè Nero Group’s debt.
With the new loan arrangement, the group has reduced its debt exposure by around 15% while securing additional facilities for significant growth.
Mr Ford commented “This is a great platform for us to grow our business, including opening up new stores, investing in digital channels, developing our coffee at home program and building our brand in international territories.”
The group currently operates four brands – Caffe Nero, Coffee #1, Harris + Hoole and Aroma – across 1020 stores in 10 countries.
Pre-Covid 19, Caffe Nero had delivered notable success, registering 86 consecutive quarters of positive like-for-like sales growth.
In the second half of 2021, with restrictions lifted, Caffè Nero started to return to its normal strong operating performance.
Sales in the first half of its financial year, from June to November 2021, were up 61% with EBITDA for the same period recorded at £29.4m.
Like-for-like sales at the end of November 2021 were tracking at 90% of FY19 levels.
The group employs more than 5,600 people in the U.K. and has more than 7,700 individuals working for its four brands across 10 territories.
Mr Ford added: “It’s great to have our family business returning to its successful pre-Covid levels. We were a strong business before Covid-19, and now having weathered the pandemic, survived a hostile takeover attempt, won the court case against the EG Group and paid back our emergency banking loans over the last 21 months, we have shown incredible resilience and I believe we will come out of these challenging times even stronger than we were before.”