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Coffee Bean expands in Malaysia

American coffee chain The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf plans to double its footprint in Malaysia.

“Currently, we have 50 stores in Malaysia and we plan to double our store count in four years,” says CEO Mel Elias.

Founded in California in 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has grown into a global brand with more than 900 company-owned and franchised stores across 15 US states and spanning nearly 30 countries.

Last month, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf received capital investment from private equity firms Advent International, CDIB Capital and Mirae Asset Private Equity, which all acquired significant equity position in the company.

Singapore’s Sassoon family, led by brothers Sunny and Victor Sassoon, previously the largest shareholder of The Coffee Bean, retain a significant holding.

Elias says they see rising affluence and growing demand for the premium lifestyle experience as Asia’s middle class grows.

“The category of gourmet coffee is on fire, it is the fastest growing segment in the coffee market,” he said.

He said the company will continue to seek strategic partners who can provide not just long-term capital but also the expertise and contacts to add impetus to its expansion plans.

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