"This acquisition substantially expands the branding and consumer connection platform for our Pilao brand," said Michiel Herkemij, chief executive officer, Sara Lee International Beverages. "Adding Expresso.Coffee to our portfolio reinforces our leadership position in the profitable and fast-growing Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro markets."
Expresso.Coffee is growing rapidly fueled in part by a license to sell coffee under the Pilao brand. The company operates more than 1,000 selling points in the 19-million consumer Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro regions, where Sara Lee is already the retail market leader thanks to brands such as Pilao, Cafe do Ponto and Damasco.
Sara Lee is in the midst of dividing the company into two publicly traded, pure-play entities by the end of the first half of calendar year 2012. The company focused on the international coffee and tea market will be named D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753 and be based in the Netherlands.