Florida-based foodservice equipment seller Welbilt is acquiring Swedish espresso equipment provider Crem International — owner of the Coffee Queen and Expobar brands — for approximately $224 million USD.
The companies announced this week that Welbilt is acquiring 100 percent of the shares of Crem International owner Avaj International Holding AB, held by private equity firms Priveq Investment Fund and SEB Venture Capital, which took majority ownership of Crem in 2012. Since then, Crem International’s annual sales revenue has grown from approximately $54 million to $90 million, according to the company.
Welbilt currently offers a range of commercial food equipment such as fryers, ovens, refrigerators and ice machines through 12 core brands. To this point, the company has not focused on coffee-specific equipment outside of a nitro keg dispensing system under its beverage brand Multiplex.
“Crem expands our full-line of commercial foodservice equipment coverage by adding the fast-growing hot coffee category to our portfolio, which gives Welbilt the broadest portfolio of hot and cold beverage equipment of any company in the market,” Welbilt President and CEO Hubertus Muehlhaeuser said in an announcement of the acquisition. “Crem is very strong in Europe and Asia, supporting our strategic objective of expanding our presence in these two important regions.”
Crem International came about in 2011 with the merger of Swedish coffee equipment brands Coffee Queen and Crem Aparatos. The company also owns the Spanish Expobar espresso machine brand. In 2015, the company acquired the German vending equipment manufacturer Spengler.
Based in Åmotfors, Crem has historically focused on the European and Asian markets, displaying its machinery at major coffee-focused trade shows such as the Seoul International Cafe Show and Host Milano.