Expansion planned after takeover

Coffee roaster Matthew Algie sold to Germans

Nick Snow Gary Nicol

Matthew Algie, the Glasgow-based coffee roaster, has been acquired by the family-owned Tchibo, a German food business.

Tchibo said the acquisition will help it grow its coffee service operations in the UK. It was attracted by the 152-year-old Glasgow firm’s ethical trading, training operations and technical customer support.

It said there is opportunity to grow Matthew Algie’s Espresso Warehouse brand, potentially across Europe.

Matthew Algie, which employs 220 staff, will continue to operate as a standalone entity run by the existing management and the Matthew Algie brand will be retained in the UK. Tchibo will use the acquisition to expand its operations in the UK and Ireland. 

Tchibo was founded in 1972 with the clear long term strategy to build an international coffee service business. It launched in the UK in 1991 and now employs 150 staff across the country.

The operation includes a coffee food service offer to sectors such as forecourts, hotels and offices.

Matthew Algie has been family-owned throughout its history. Following the death of sixth generation owner David Williamson in 2008, the company has been owned by Mr Williamson’s estate which is held by a family trust. 

Established in 1864 as a tea blender and wholesaler, Matthew Algie has driven innovation and ethical trading in the UK coffee market, including the introduction of the UK’s first Fairtrade espresso bean. In 2004 the firm launched the UK’s first Triple Certified espresso: Fairtrade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance. 

Nick Snow, managing director for Tchibo Coffee Service, said: “Matthew Algie stands out in the UK coffee trade for its DB logo advert for clicking onunrivalled “farm-to-cup” approach to ethical sourcing, its technical excellence with dedication to staff and customer training, and the opportunity to grow the Espresso Warehouse concept internationally.

“We are very keen to maintain Matthew Algie’s independence while providing it with the opportunity to drive innovation in the UK coffee service market. We will learn a lot from each other while both continuing to grow.”

Matthew Algie’s senior management team, including chief executive Gary Nicol, sales and marketing director Brian O’Hagan, operations director Peter McGadey, and technical director Ewan Reid, will continue to lead the business.

Chairman Eric Hagman said: “We believe this deal gives the company a major platform for further growth and to expand Matthew Algie’s operations across the UK with an eye on European markets also. 

“Tchibo is the right partner to help us build on the achievements of the last few years and we are very excited about the future potential of the business.”

Mr Nicol said: “The investment of Tchibo also speaks volumes for the results achieved by our skilled and committed workforce.”

He said it would now have new routes to market offered through Tchibo.

Photo: Nick Snow and Gary Nicol (contributed)


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