Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire The Coffee Equipment Company and its proprietary Clover® brewing system. The Coffee Equipment Company is a privately held coffee equipment developer and manufacturer based in Seattle, Wash. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Coffee Equipment Company is best known for developing the revolutionary Clover® system, one of the most significant innovations in coffee brewing since the espresso machine. The Clover®'s specialized brewing process allows a barista to quickly deliver one freshly brewed cup of coffee at a time. This technique, which blends the best of the vacuum pot and coffee press methods, further develops and unlocks the unique flavor nuances of specialty coffees.
"Strategically, this acquisition will demonstrate our commitment to provide Starbucks customers with individual brewed cups of the rarest and most exotic Starbucks coffee using the Clover brewing system," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In my over 25 years at Starbucks, the Clover machine unquestionably delivers the best cup of brewed coffee I have ever tasted and we want to share this experience with our customers."
"Coffee is as complex, rich and distinctive as fine wines," said Zander Nosler, co-founder of The Coffee Equipment Company. "The Clover brings out amazing and distinctive coffee flavors - like the earthy, woodsy flavors of an Aged Sumatra or the bright citrus tones of an Ethiopia Yergacheffe - with the depth of the coffee press and a clarity that was formerly only found at the professional coffee grader's cupping table. It puts the coffee front and center.
"We are thrilled to be a part of Starbucks Coffee Company, given its brewed coffee heritage and passion for specialty coffees," Nosler said. "Personally, I'm delighted to unite our innovative technology with Starbucks' amazing influence from origin to consumer. Starbucks is uniquely positioned to change the way the world thinks about brewed coffee."
"The Clover brings drama and theater to the brewing process and enables our baristas to have emotionally rich conversations with our customers," added Schultz.
Starbucks expects to accelerate the roll out of the Clover® machines to select domestic and international markets. Currently, they are in use in some Seattle and Boston area stores.
The Coffee Equipment Company was founded in 2004 by Zander Nosler and Randy Hulett. In 2007, the Company was the recipient of both the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) "Coffee Excellence" and Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) "Best New Product" Awards. Additional information on The Coffee Equipment Company can be found at www.Cloverequipment.com.
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with nearly 16,000 stores and more than 170,000 partners (employees) in 44 countries, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.
This release includes forward-looking statements about certain company initiatives and plans, including the future roll out of Clover® machines. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available operating, financial and competitive information and are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual future results and trends may differ materially depending on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, coffee, dairy and other raw material prices and availability, successful execution of internal plans and initiatives, fluctuations in U.S. and international economies and currencies, the impact of competition, the effect of legal proceedings, and other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the "Risk Factors" section in Starbucks Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007 and Starbucks Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 30, 2007. The company assumes no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.