Caffè Nero is one of the largest chains of coffee bars in the UK and with branches in 9 other countries, now has more than 1,000 coffee bars worldwide. It continues to serve its original award-winning blend of expresso coffee and now roast all its coffee beans in-house.
Founded in 1991, the business had grown to 5 coffee bars in central London by 1997. Alcuin provided growth capital to support the buyout of the small chain by Gerry Ford. The business then began to improve branding and operations and commenced a successful roll-out of new sites.
In 2001, the company joined the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of £50 million at the IPO and 53 coffee bars. Alcuin sold its minority stake post-IPO for a very attractive return. In 2007, Gerry decided to take the company private at a valuation of £225 million and Alcuin re-invested in this transaction alongside the other founding shareholders.
The company had 290 coffee bars in 2007 when it left the stock market and has continued to grow steadily since then to its current 1,000+ and also expanding into Poland, Turkey, Sweden and the USA. The quality of the business and its management team led by Gerry (who remains chairman and CEO) has been demonstrated by the resilience of trading through the GFC and then through the Covid pandemic.