Global Baristas Acquires Tully's Coffee


Tully’s Coffee Inc., a coffee chain which has close relations with specialty coffee retailer Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR), has been sold to Global Baristas LLC, an investment group led by the actor Patrick Dempsey. However, Global Baristas will continue to operate the stores under Tully’s brand name and retain all the employees of the coffee chain.

Dempsey acquired Tully’s for a sum of $9.2 million beating the combined offer of $10.6 million by the giant coffee chain, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX), and the Philippines-based AgriNurture.

Green Mountain already owns the wholesale side of Tully's brand which includes coffee in bags and single-serve packs sold in supermarkets and other stores. Tully sold its brand, wholesale and supply chain businesses to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont for $40.3 million in cash in 2008.

The above-mentioned ownership by GMCR was an obstacle to Starbucks and AgriNurture’s joint decision to acquire Tully’s Coffee as this would affect several company contracts.

Tully's cash position eroded and it filed for bankruptcy last October. Tully's reported to the court that it had $5.9 million in assets and $3.7 million in liabilities, much of which was owed to GMCR.

Green Mountain, however, said that the sale of Tully’s Coffee and its assets will not have any significant impact on its operations of the wholesale business.

Green Mountain, which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), is a leading specialty coffee chain and the owner of Keurig single-serve coffee brewers. It aims at popularizing the single-cup brewing system in America and has therefore, entered into several strategic distribution agreements to rope in popular brands like Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (DNKN), Starbucks Corporation and Unilever plc (UL) into its portion-pack system.

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