One of New Zealand’s best loved quality coffee companies Mojo Coffee Cartel, has today entered into a conditional agreement for Cooks Global Foods to acquire 100% of its shares. The transaction that will be finalised on October 24 with Cooks values the business at $19 million (subject to adjustments for net debt and movements in working capital), to be paid through a combination of cash and shares.

Co-Foundered in 2003 with his wife Julie, Steve Gianoutsos says the new deal represents an exciting opportunity for the Mojo Family to expand internationally while keeping focus on the development of their NZ staff and stores.

“Since we started Mojo from our first Wakefield Street store in Wellington1 5 years ago, it has grown significantly and is now a highly recognised and well loved coffee brand. This has largely been down to the people who work in Mojo stores and the great customer experience”

“Cooks is going to be really good for us in helping expand Mojo. Their experience in international markets and strategy to look globally is going to get our international expansion really firing; it’s something we’ve been pushing for some time. I’ve been working in the flagship Chicago store and we’re looking to push out into the US and beyond.”

The company has confirmed no changes will be occurring for Mojo staff other than the potential to work in one of 142 stores across the world, and customers will see no change in their Mojo experience they love – the same friendly service and quality coffee they’ve always had.

The management of Mojo in New Zealand doesn’t change either. Following the acquisition, Mojo will retain its brand and people with Steve Gianoutsos, the co-founder of Mojo, and executives Katy Ellis and John Holloway joining Cooks’ senior management team while continuing to run the Mojo business. It is intended that expansion in the US will be led by Steve Gianoutsos.

The acquisition, which is subject to the conditions being satisfied, will give Cooks a New Zealand presence and significantly enhance its scale. It will extend Cooks’ global store network to 142 stores and accelerate its transition to generating positive cashflow. Cooks currently runs Esquires international cafes, outside of New Zealand and Australia which is run by another company.

CEO of Cooks Food Group, Keith Jackson adds: “We expect it to provide a lift to Cooks’ earnings, free float, and market capitalisation. This, coupled with Cooks’ well-signalled plan to move to the NZX Main Board, have the potential to increase our market liquidity and broaden the company’s investor base. We are working hard to bring this transaction to fruition and are looking forward to Mojo joining the Cooks family of brands.”

Concurrent with the acquisition, and in order to fund the cash component of the purchase price, Cooks intends to seek new capital. The pricing and structure for this capital raise is yet to be confirmed but will likely take the form of a renounceable rights issue. Cooks will make further announcements in this respect once a final decision is made.

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