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Private equity groups take stake in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

By Olivia Oran

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Advent International and an Asian partner have agreed to take a large stake in coffee and tea retailer, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Boston-based Advent declined to disclose the size of the investment it had made in the privately held chain along with CDIB Capital, an Asian private equity investor. Other investors in the deal include Asian firm Mirae Asset Private Equity and the Sassoon family, the largest existing shareholder in the chain.

The transaction is the latest in a sector that has seen a slew of deals in the last year, including European investment group Joh. A. Benckiser's acquisitions of D.E. Master Blenders NV, Peet's Coffee & Tea and Caribou Coffee, as well as Starbucks Corp's acquisition of Teavana.

Coffee is a staple for U.S. consumers, with over 76 percent reporting they have purchased the beverage in some form in the last month, according to market research firm Mintel.

Founded in 1963 in Southern California, the chain has more than 900 stores in 30 countries. It has expanded aggressively in Asia in particular, where its locations include China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Advent has invested in retail companies including Five Below Inc, Party City, Charlotte Russe and Lululemon Athletica.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was advised by Barclays.