Clearwater advises Kafevend on sale

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Clearwater Corporate Finance has advised the shareholders of Kafevend on its sale to Eden Springs, Europe’s leading provider of water and coffee solutions for the workplace.

Formed in 1992, Kafevend is one of the fastest growing workplace vending suppliers in the UK. The business supplies hot drinks, coffee vending machines, water and snack vending machines to SMEs and Corporates across the UK from its Headquarters in Crawley and offices in London, Epping, Bristol, Manchester and Scotland. Turnover in 2013 was £20m and the business currently employs approximately 100 people.

Livingbridge invested in Kafevend, on behalf of its clients the Baronsmead VCTs, in October 2005 to fund an MBO from IKON Office Solutions, who acquired the business in 1996.

Since investment by Livingbridge, Kafevend has successfully developed a leading product portfolio delivering refreshments to over 10,000 sites throughout mainland UK. In 2010, Kafevend and Mars Drinks formed a significant partnership, built around their strong relationships, communication and exceptional customer focus.

Kafevend’s CEO John Collins, who led the 2005 MBO, will join the Eden UK management team and take up the position of Commercial Managing Director which encompasses their water and coffee interests in the UK.

The exit yields a multiple of 2.5x and an IRR of 13.7% to Livingbridge clients the Baronsmead VCTs.

The shareholders of Kafevend were advised by Clearwater Corporate Finance. The team was led by partners Marcus Archer and Paul Newell, with support from analyst Perri Blakey.

Marcus Archer, head of Support Services at Clearwater Corporate Finance, said: “The sale to Eden Springs delivers a great exit for Livingbridge and an excellent home for Kafevend’s management team to continue to grow the business. As market leaders in the sector, Eden can leverage Kafevend’s strategic position in the UK and build on Kafevend’s excellent track record in recent years.

This deal shows that UK companies remain extremely attractive to overseas investors, as the potential for growth continues on its upward trajectory.”

John Collins, CEO of Kafevend, said: “Kafevend has had a long and supportive relationship with Livingbridge, during which time the company has gone from strength to strength. Becoming part of Eden Springs at this stage in Kafevend’s development will provide excellent opportunity for the business, our people and our customers.”

Benoit Broch, Investment Director at Livingbridge, commented: “We are pleased with the successful realisation of Kafevend. We wish the Management team every success in their new home at Eden, where there is a significant opportunity for further growth in workplace drinks market. Kafevend has been a success story in our investment period in which continued growth has been achieved and market leadership established.”