Image from left to right: Nick Snow, Managing Director Tchibo Coffee Service and Gary Nicol CEO at Matthew Algie.
Matthew Algie, the UK’s leading independent coffee roaster, has been acquired by the family-owned German coffee and food service business Tchibo, in a deal which both parties have hailed as complementary to their respective brands and customers across the UK and Ireland.
For Tchibo, the deal illustrates the multinational’s desire to further grow its coffee service business in the UK. The senior management team of Tchibo cited a number of key attractions to Glasgow-based Matthew Algie; its dedication to ethical trading and ‘Triple Accreditation’, its leading-edge training operations and technical customer support; and the opportunity to grow Matthew Algie’s Espresso Warehouse brand, potentially across Europe.
Matthew Algie will continue to operate as a standalone entity but with the platform for further expansion and innovation, building on its impressive growth in recent years. The company employs 220 people and is now one of the UK’s leading suppliers to the UK and Ireland food service markets, recognised for its technical expertise, approach to sustainable coffee sourcing, and excellent customer service. In 2014 it celebrated its 150th anniversary.
The deal with Tchibo will see the Matthew Algie brand retained in the UK with the company continuing to be run by its existing management team. Tchibo will use the acquisition to expand its operations in the UK and Ireland.
The global coffee service business of Tchibo was founded in 1972 with the clear long term strategy to build an international coffee service business. This year Tchibo Coffee Service UK celebrates its 25th anniversary. It came to the UK in 1991 as part of an international growth programme. The operation currently includes a coffee food service offer to sectors such as forecourts, hotels and offices. Tchibo employs more than 150 people in the UK.
Matthew Algie has been family-owned throughout its history. Following the death of 6th generation owner David Williamson in 2008, the company has been owned by Mr Williamson’s estate which is held by a family trust.
Established in 1864 as a tea blender and wholesaler, Matthew Algie has driven innovation and ethical trading in the UK coffee market, including the introduction of the UK’s first Fairtrade espresso bean. In 2004 the firm launched the UK’s first Triple Certified espresso: Fairtrade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance.
Beyond coffee roasting, the acquisition will allow Matthew Algie to grow its Espresso Warehouse brand which sells associated products and equipment to cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Concluding the acquisition, Nick Snow, Managing Director for Tchibo Coffee Service, said: “Matthew Algie stands out in the UK coffee trade for its unrivalled “farm-to-cup” approach to ethical sourcing, its technical excellence with dedication to staff and customer training, and the opportunity to grow the Espresso Warehouse concept internationally.
Chairman Eric Hagman CBE said: “We believe this deal gives the company a major platform for further growth and to expand Matthew Algie’s operations across the UK with an eye on European markets also. Tchibo is the right partner to help us build on the achievements of the last few years and we are very excited about the future potential of the business.
Gary Nicol, Matthew Algie chief executive, said the future was positive for the company: “We have always worked hard to deliver consistently high quality products and that won’t change going forward. The investment of Tchibo also speaks volumes for the results achieved by our skilled and committed workforce.
“We are very keen to maintain Matthew Algie’s independence while providing it with the opportunity to drive innovation in the UK coffee service market. We will learn a lot from each other while both continuing to grow.”
Matthew Algie’s senior management team, including CEO Gary Nicol, sales and marketing director Brian O’Hagan, operations director Peter McGadey and technical director Ewan Reid, will continue to lead the expanding operation.
“Our focus remains on our dedication to sustainable sourcing and great tasting coffee for our customers, but now with the complementary experience, products and services and routes to market offered by new partners Tchibo.”
With its unique business model of selling premium quality coffee along with weekly changing non-food ranges through its own distributions channels, Tchibo Group and its 12,500 employees worldwide generated revenues of 3.4 billion EUR in 2015. Tchibo is one of the six biggest coffee roasting companies in the world. Its sustainable business policies have earned the family business, which was founded in Hamburg in 1949, multiple awards including the European Union CSR Award in 2013. Tchibo Coffee Service is part of the Tchibo Group. Founded in 1972, Tchibo Coffee Service today is one of the leading food and coffee service companies in Europe with branches in Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Poland. Tchibo Coffee Service provides tailored out-of-home solutions for a wide range of customers from hotel chains to independent cafés or educational facilities. With its family of brands (Tchibo, Davidoff Café, Piacetto Espresso, VISTA) the company has built its first rate reputation based on superior quality products, truly unbeatable service and fair prices. The unique and diverse brand and product portfolio is supported by a cutting edge equipment and the latest training resources. Tchibo Coffee Service came to the UK in 1991 as part of an international growth programme. The company now offers a wide variety of products across the UK for a wide range of customers such as hotels, the convenience and forecourt sector, commercial offices and contract catering.
About Matthew Algie
Matthew Algie was launched in 1864 by its eponymous founder and is the UK and Ireland’s leading independent supplier and roaster of coffee. Matthew Algie roasted the UK’s first Fairtrade espresso beans in 1997. Today, around 90% of the green coffee that Matthew Algie buys is Fairtrade, contributing to its triple-certified supply chain. Matthew Algie supplies great coffee to some of the biggest retailers and hotel chains including Marks & Spencer’s Cafe, Sainsbury’s Cafe, Gleneagles Hotel and leading independent coffee shops, bars and restaurants throughout the UK and Ireland.