International Coffee & Tea, owner/operator of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain, receives investment from three private-equity funds that together will acquire significant equity position, help increase brand's visibility, accelerate growth

LOS ANGELES , September 13, 2013 (press release) – Southern California's iconic specialty coffee & tea retailer gains equity support from three experienced global investors to expand the brand's visibility and accelerate plans for domestic and international expansion

Today, International Coffee & Tea, LLC, which owns and operates The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®—the oldest and largest privately-held specialty premium coffee and tea retailer in the United States—announces that Advent International, CDIB Capital, and Mirae Asset Private Equity have joined to acquire a significant equity position in the Company.


One of the largest and most experienced global investors dedicated solely to private equity, Advent has established an integrated team of over 170 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. CDIB Capital is the overseas investment arm of China Development Financial, one of the largest and longest standing merchant banking groups in Asia. Headquartered in Hong Kong, CDIB Capital also has principal offices in Taipei, Shanghai, Seoul, and San Francisco. Mirae Asset Private Equity is the private equity arm of Mirae Asset Financial Group, one of Asia's largest independent financial services groups, with offices throughout Asia, Australia, India, Europe, and North America. The Sassoon family, led by brothers Sunny and Victor Sassoon, previously the largest existing shareholder of The Coffee Bean, remains as a significant shareholder. The transaction was completed as of September 12, 2013, and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Since its first location in Brentwood, CA, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has grown to become an international icon with more than 900 company-owned and franchised stores across 15 states and spanning nearly 30 countries. Founded in 1963, the company remains rooted to its heritage by focusing on the quality of its craft and delivering the world's most vibrant flavors to its customers by selecting only the top one percent of Arabica beans and the finest hand-plucked whole leaf teas. After 50 years, the company remains committed to its original vision of product quality and customer care, developing a strong recognizable brand that has resonated with customers across the United States, and international customers alike.

"This is an important and exciting development for our customers and team members and marks a new age of significance and expansion for The Coffee Bean," says Mel Elias, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®. "The coffee sector continues to be very dynamic, led by strong international growth and significant strategic interest, which in turn provides added promise and opportunity. It is also a testament to our people, products, and strength of our brand, both domestically and internationally, in the coffee, and especially, tea category."

Sunny Sassoon, Executive Chairman of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, and Victor Sassoon, The Coffee Bean CEO Asia Pacific, add in a joint statement, "Since 1996, we have worked very hard to build The Coffee Bean into the global and innovative company it has become today that touches the lives of millions of guests every week. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and we feel very blessed and excited to join our new partners in continuing to realize the Company's significant potential as we look forward to the next 50 years of growth on all levels."

"The Coffee Bean is the largest independent global player in a dynamic industry," said Jeff Case, a Principal at Advent International. "The coffee and tea market is poised for continued growth, driven by rising coffee consumption globally and an expanding middle class in Asia and other growing economies throughout the world. We believe this investment will serve to accelerate the brand's development and market share and we look forward to working with the management team to accomplish that growth."

Will Kussell, a member of Advent's Operating Partner program, will serve as Vice Chairman of The Coffee Bean Board of Directors. Prior to joining Advent's Operating Partner program in 2010, Kussell served as President and Chief Brand Officer of Dunkin' Donuts Worldwide. There, he led the successful repositioning of the company as a coffee and bakery segment leader, increasing U.S. sales from just over $1 billion in 1994 to more than $5 billion in 2009. He also established an international growth strategy for Dunkin' Donuts that led to a 60% sales increase from 2004 to 2009.

HY Kim, a Managing Director at CDIB Capital, said, "We have followed The Coffee Bean for many years, in particular its rapid expansion in Asia, and have been impressed by the strength of the brand and its connection with its consumer base. We believe that the Company's authentic Southern California brand heritage and global resonance provides a strong base for the future."

Jung-Hun Ryu, President at Mirae Asset Private Equity, added, "We are excited to partner with Advent, CDIB Capital, and the Sassoon family to continue the rapid growth of this business. We see many significant opportunities for The Coffee Bean in Asia and the U.S., and are excited to work to support this future growth."

Sunny Sassoon continues as Executive Chairman of the Board and Victor Sassoon remains as CEO of the Asia Pacific.

About The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®
Born and brewed in Southern California since 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is the oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States. Embodying a passion for connecting loyal customers to one another with carefully handcrafted products, the company is known for sourcing and providing the finest ingredients and flavors from around the world. For 50 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has demonstrated a passion for product innovation epitomized by The Original Ice Blended® beverage. The company has grown to be an international icon and currently has more than 900 stores in nearly 30 countries. In 2010, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® launched the CBTL™ Single Serve Beverage System that allows consumers to make their favorite espresso, brewed coffee, tea and specialty beverages at home with the touch of a button. Please visit or for more information.

About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global investors dedicated solely to private equity. Since inception, the firm has invested in more than 280 buyout transactions in 36 countries, achieving over 230 full or partial exits, and today has $32.4 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 170 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on growth and traditional buyout and strategic repositioning transactions across five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecoms. Notable investments in the retail sector include Serta Simmons, Five Below, Party City, Charlotte Russe, Lululemon Athletica, Hudson News, and Bojangles'. After 29 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for portfolio companies. For more information, visit

About CDIB Capital
CDIB Capital is a leading Asian private equity investor focused on middle market transactions, with a sectorial bias for consumer/retail, media/technology, value added manufacturing and financial/business services. It is an affiliate of China Development Financial, founded in 1959, and one of the oldest and largest merchant banking groups in Greater China with over US$17bn in assets. CDIB Capital is headquartered in Hong Kong, with principal offices in Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul and San Francisco. For more information on CDIB Capital, please visit our website at

About Mirae Asset Private Equity
Mirae Asset Private Equity is the private equity arm of Mirae Asset Financial Group, one of Asia's largest independent financial services groups. Mirae Asset Financial Group was founded in 1997 in the wake of the Asian currency crisis and is credited with creating the asset management industry in Korea. Today, with over US$125bn in AUM, Mirae Asset has a presence in Hong Kong (global headquarters), Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, India, United Kingdom, Canada, USA, China and Vietnam. The global network allows the firm's teams on the ground to efficiently capitalize on investment opportunities specific to each market in order to continually meet its clients' evolving needs. More information is available at

SOURCE The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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