Aramark perks up with Filterfresh coffee purchase

Aramark Corp. is buying the Filterfresh office-coffee business of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., of Waterbury, Vt., for about $145 million in cash.

Technically, what Aramark is buying is called Van Houtte USA Holdings Inc. The Philadelphia-based Aramark has long had a coffee business through its Aramark Refreshment Services L.L.C. unit.

Green Mountain, which has annual sales of about $1.4 billion, had acquired Van Houtte as part of a Dec. 17 purchase of LJVH Holdings Inc. for $905 million. At the time, the publicly traded Green Mountain said it intended to sell the U.S. coffee-service business known as Filterfresh.

Aramark is a privately held food-service giant with sales of $12.57 billion for its fiscal year ended Oct. 1. According to its most recent annual report, Aramark said its Refreshment Services unit saw a decline "due to lower populations at client locations."

For the nine months ended July 1, overall sales for Aramark rose to $9.91 billion from $9.41 billion for the same period a year ago.

On a day when the U.S. equity markets rallied, Green Mountain shares closed at $98.71 up 80 cents, or 0.8 percent.

(BTW - Sources close to my desk say that Green Mountain is the coffee served in the cafeteria on the fourth floor of 400 N. Broad St.)