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Illycaffe Chairman Says Open To Partnership To Expand Cafe Network


MILAN (Reuters) -MILAN (Reuters) – Italian premium coffee maker illycaffe is open to a strategic partnership to help accelerate the growth of its retail network and could consider selling a minority stake for the first time in its 86-year history, Chairman Andrea Illy told Reuters.

The group wants to expand its network of branded cafes at home and abroad, especially in the United States where bigger rivals like Starbucks (SBUX.O) and JAB are jumping on a trend away from regular coffee bars toward high-end cafes.

Illycaffe – which serves up 7 million cups of its brew in restaurants and cafes each day – has 219 illy-branded outlets outside Italy, including 23 in North America.

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