Bridgehead Coffee acquired by Second Cup’s new parent company

The acquisition is the first by Aegis Brands as part of a plan to expand its portfolio of brands.
Bridgehead Coffee

Aegis Brands has made its first acquisition as Second Cup’s new parent company, acquiring Ottawa-based Bridgehead Coffee for $9.5 million less than a month after announcing a new corporate strategy.

Under the terms of the agreement, all of Bridgehead’s nineteen corporately-owned coffeehouses will continue to operate independently under the Bridgehead banner, headquartered in Ottawa.

The coffee chain becomes only the second company under parent Aegis, which intends to spin off Second Cup as a wholly-owned subsidiary next year as part of a portfolio strategy that will also include brands in the foodservice and cannabis categories.

Bridgehead COO Kate Burnett takes over executive leadership of the company, while Tracey Clark (who has served as president and CEO since 2000) will lead the brand in the new role of chief culture officer. In a statement, Clark said joining Aegis gives the company access to the resources necessary to expand, while enabling it to stay focused on its small-scale, fair-trade premium coffee positioning.

“We created Aegis with the vision of building a portfolio of amazing brands that can grow and flourish with access to our resources and expertise,” said Steven Pelton, CEO of Aegis Brands, in a statement. “Bridgehead is the quintessential ‘amazing brand’ – a company with a deep sense of purpose, strong roots in its community and an incredible potential for growth.”

Second Cup’s decision to restructure as Aegis Brands in November – with the company’s name change only taking effect next year – was made in light of continued struggles within its own coffee business. During Q3, same-store sales dipped 2.9%, down 1.3% year-to-date, continuing a trend that has seen it routine post losses in recent years.