Co-operative franchisee Cobra Coffee is set to open more Starbucks outlets after buying a company which already runs a dozen in the South West.
Sussex-based Cobra Coffee, part of Southern Co-op has acquired Surrey’s Amsric Ltd, which is the franchisee for several Starbucks coffee shops in the South and South West, including in Plymouth’s Drake Circus Shopping Centre.
Cobra Coffee is now setting its sights on running 50 stores after the acquisition of Amsric takes its existing number of stores to 47. These include the newly acquired 12 coffee shops, and 120 staff, all operating as a Starbucks licensee .
As part of the acquisition, the regional co-operative will be moving forward with existing Amsric plans to open two new outlets, in Plymouth and Bognor Regis, in the coming months.
Gwyn Kennett, head of operations at Cobra Coffee, said: “This acquisition has allowed us to continue expanding in the South West and growing our family in more communities.
“It’s important to us that each store is a part of the local community with space for people to socialise, as well as providing employment to local residents.
“We are hoping this growth can continue in the years ahead and we would welcome further investment opportunities across the South of England.”
Cobra Coffee grew its store portfolio from 19 to 30 during 2020 and has opened five new stores in 2021, in addition to this acquisition.
Franchise hospitality deal management experts Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, managed the acquisition on behalf of Amsric Holdings Ltd including marketing the company, negotiating terms, and managing/advising on the sale process.
Ragin Patel, director of Amsric Holdings, said: “We leave the Starbucks community with some sadness but are pleased to have found a great partner in Cobra – which we are confident will take the business forward and, with the co-operative’s strong people-centric, ethical and community values, our dedicated and committed Amsric team will also benefit.”
Amsric Ltd stores now operated by Cobra Coffee include:
Fraddon Kingsley Village
Yeovil Babylon Hill
Truro Chiverton Cross
Truro Victoria Square
Plymouth Drake Circus
Exeter High Street
Bideford Atlantic Village
Exeter Alphington Road, Drive Thru
Whiteley – Whiteley Shopping Centre
Portsmouth The Cascades Shopping Centre
Southampton – Above Bar Street
Other stores, which are a combination of high street, drive-thru and drive-to locations, are based in Brighton, Crawley, Hove, Worthing, Dorking, Horsham, Reigate, Wokingham, Ashford, Canterbury, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Isle of Sheppey, Maidstone, Strood, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Bath, Bristol, Southampton, and Bournemouth.
Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.
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All stores are open for indoor dining and takeaway and are closely following the latest Covid-19 guidance from both the Government and health authorities. Starbucks franchisee Cobra Coffee’s current 47 stores are in Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Somerset.
In October 2018, it became part of the Southern Co-op company – a large, regional, independent co-operative. Southern Co-op operates more than 250 food and funeral branches across the South of England. Owned by its 135,000 members, it has an annual turnover of over £490m and more than 4,000 colleagues.