Italian coffee company Lavazza has acquired a major equity stake in Kicking Horse Coffee from Swander Pace Capital, a private-equity fund in Canada.

Kicking Horse Coffee is a Canadian firm that has been in the coffee business for several years, with offices spread across the North American market.

With this latest move, Lavazza has secured an 80% stake in the Canadian company for C$215m ($160m).

The remaining 20% will be retained by Kicking Horse Coffee's co-founder Elana Rosenfeld who will also continue as the chief executive officer (CEO).

Lavazza Group's CEO Antonio Baravalle said: "Kicking Horse Coffee represents one of the local jewels the Lavazza Group continues to seek as part of its globalisation and premium positioning strategy.

"Today, organic fair-trade coffee is one of the fastest-growing trends at the international level, and in North America in particular.

"Organic fair-trade coffee is one of the fastest-growing trends at the international level."

“Kicking Horse Coffee leads this segment with a brand that is perfectly complementary to the Lavazza portfolio.

“In recent years, the company has constantly grown at a double-digit rate and, thanks to this acquisition, its growth and development prospects both in and outside of Canada will increase significantly."

With this acquisition, Lavazza Group intends to strengthen its presence in the North American market.

Rosenfeld said: "Kicking Horse Coffee has always distinguished itself for its unrelenting commitment to quality coffee, along with strong sustainability values.

"The Lavazza Group shares this vision and we now have the perfect partner to assist us in growing and connecting the world with our coffee.

"I am thrilled and honoured we now share this beautiful adventure with the Lavazza Group."

Image: Lavazza acquires 80% stake in the Canadian-based coffee company Kicking Horse Coffee. Photo: courtesy of LUIGI LAVAZZA