Sun Capital buys Canada’s third-largest coffee shop chain

The Florida–based private equity firm finds a place to buy its morning coffee after acquiring Timothy’s Coffees of the World together with 166 coffee shops across Canada and the US.

Sun Capital Partners has acquired the Toronto-based coffee shop company chain Timothy’s Coffees of the World, together with its 166 Timothy World Coffee stores, for an undisclosed sum.

The private equity firm purchased Timothy’s Coffees of the World, which includes 166 franchise and directly-operated stores primarily located in the Ontario area, as well as a wholesale distributor of single-serve coffee and tea products, through its $6 billion (€3.9 billion) buyout fund Sun Capital Partners V.

Anthony Polazzi, Sun Capital vice president, told PERE the firm would continue to expand the chain in the Ontario region even though competition in the coffee retail industry was fierce.

“The retail coffee sector is very competitive but Timothy’s has a good brand with a loyal customer base and we intend to build on that to strengthen the brand and make it a great place for people to get their morning coffee,” Polazzi said.

Timothy’s, founded in 1975 by Timothy Snelgrove and his wife Teresa, is now the third-largest Canadian-owned chain of cafés, and includes the restaurants brands mmmuffins and Michel’s Baguette. The McKinnon family acquired the company from Snelgrove in 1985.

Executive chairman Becky McKinnon and president Ian McKinnon said in a statement the acquisition by Sun Capital would allow Timothy to “fully realize its strategic potential,” adding they would help Sun Capital’s transition as owners “in the next few months” after which they would work as “consultants in the interim.”