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Lavazza agrees to buy France's Maxicoffee

m_WFILE PHOTO: Lavazza coffee packets are seen at a Carrefour supermarket in Brussels

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian coffee maker Lavazza said on Monday it had made a binding offer to acquire French coffee seller MaxiCoffee to strengthen its position in France and in e-commerce.

"Our strategy is to support the further development of MaxiCoffee, which will maintain its profile as a multi-brand e-commerce platform and remain independent," Lavazza Chief Executive Antonio Baravalle said in a statement.

MaxiCoffee, which is jointly owned by its founder Christophe Brancato, Italian private equity group 21 Invest and other investors, operates through an online platform and some 60 retail outlets. Founded in 2007, it employs around 1,500 people.

Christophe Brancato will reinvest in the capital of MaxiCoffee with a minority stake, the statement said without providing financial details.

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Keith Weir)