Friele brews profits on sale of coffee business

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The Friele family of Bergen says they will reinvest the profits they’ll gain when they complete the sale of another 45 percent of their coffee business, Kaffehuset Friele, to DE Master Blenders (DEMB) of the Netherlands. The sale may yield as much as NOK 1 billion (USD 166 million).

Neither buyer nor seller will reveal the exact sales price, but newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Friday that the historic company, owned by the Friele family since 1799, was valued at around NOK 1.5 billion-2 billion. DEMB has owned a 45 percent stake in the company since 1988 and now will control 90 percent of the shares, with the family retaining 10 percent.

Herman Friele, a 70-year-old former mayor of Bergen, will remain as chairman and claimed the sale “will be good for Bergen, for Friele and for the consumer.” He said the sale to DEMB will open up new possibilities for sales growth outside of Norway, and for expansion into new coffee products.

Friele has owned the Kaffehuset shares with his daughter Birgitte and brother Berent. He acknowledged that proceeds from their sale will amount to “quite a large sum” that the family won’t merely sit on. “We don’t like being passive owners,” he told DN. “We will invest further,” but he declined to identify any specific projects.

newsinenglish.no staff