| Vietnam

Swiss coffee trader Sucafina to acquire Mercon’s Vietnamese business

The proposed deal comes six months after Dutch coffee trader Mercon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US after amassing debts of $363m

Vietnam is the world’s largest producer of robusta coffee | Photo credit: Dang Cong


Swiss coffee trader Sucafina is set to expand its reach in one of the world’s largest coffee producing countries with the acquisition of Mercon Coffee Corp.’s business unit in Vietnam. 

The sale of Mercafe Vietnam Ltd. comes six months after Dutch green coffee trader Mercon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US after amassing debts of $363m. The company cited logistics disruption during the pandemic, high price fluctuations and increased borrowing costs as significantly impacting its ability to pay debts. 

The Sucafina deal, which is yet to be finalised, also comes amid a sustained period of coffee price volatility. Prolonged heatwaves in Vietnam – the world’s largest producer of robusta coffee – have damaged crops, exacerbating fears of supply shortages. Robusta futures, a global benchmark for the pricing of robusta coffee, has increased 50% this year due to dry weather in Vietnam. 

Netherlands-based Mercon established Mercafe Vietnam Ltd. in 1998 with a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City. Focused on export operations and green coffee processing in the southern regions of Vietnam, Mercafe Vietnam Ltd. served as Mercon’s trading hub for Asia.  

The green coffee trader also has offices in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain and the US. In addition to selling Mercafe Vietnam Ltd., Mercon is also divesting a number of contracts, inventory, equipment, and intellectual property to a unit of broker StoneX Group Inc. for $5.4m. 

Sucafina opened its first representative office in Vietnam in 1997 and formed its Sucafina Vietnam subsidiary in 2022. Today, the business operates green coffee processing factories with an annual capacity of 50,000 metric tons. 

Geneva-based Sucafina has made several prominent acquisitions in recent years. In February 2019 the business acquired Australia-based specialty coffee trader MTC and two years later purchased UK-based coffee merchant Complete Coffee Limited in 2021, a supplier to Costa Coffee. 

In November 2022, Sucafina acquired a majority stake in Dutch instant coffee company TB Brown before taking 100% ownership of pioneering US green coffee importer Sustainable Harvest in February 2023. 

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