Yesterday we reported on the speculation surrounding the possible sale of Stumptown Coffee to a New York private equity firm. Today, Williamette Week published a link to a document filed with the Oregon Secretary of State listing Alexander S. Panos, a managing partner of the New York private equity fund TSG Consumer Partners, as the new registrant for businesses operating under the Stumptown Coffee name.
Still, the brewer's director of operations Matt Lounsbury insisted to Williamette Week that Duane [Sorenson] is very much in charge of Stumptown. Duane has a friend who's invested some money into Stumptown to help us grow-to open up a couple of cafes, maybe a market... But he's [Sorenson] still very much in charge of the company. This is a time when banks aren't giving a lot of people money and we actually reached a point where the banks wouldn't give Stumptown any more money.
Sorenson refused to give details on the name of the investor or identify who now owns the majority share.
TSG consumer partners has previously invested in Glaceau Vitamin Water and Voss Water.
Todd Carmichael has not updated Esquire's blog Eat Like A Man since his post yesterday that ignited a firestorm of speculation.
Below is the full text of yesterday's IBTimes article:
A blog post titled The End of Stumptown, America's Hippest Coffee Brand has culinary social media sites atwitter today with speculation that a New York private equity firm is the new owner of the (previously) independent coffee roaster, with popular retail locations in New York, Seattle and Portland:
Duane Sorenson, the founder of Stumptown, the Che Guevara of the rock-star barista movement, sold his life's work to the highest bidder, Todd Carmichael writes in the post on Esquire's blog Eat Like a Man. The accussation was picked up by the top food blogs, who are all awaiting an official statement from Stumptown.
Eater Portland posted that the rumors are likely not true, and are awaiting confirmation. But Willamette Week uncovered some documents that suggest there might be truth to the speculation:
''On April 28, Stumptown Coffee Corp.... filed an 'application for authority' [with the Oregon Secretary of State Corporation Division]. Stumptown Coffee Corp is a distinct entity from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the Oregon corporation registered to the company's founder, Duane Sorenson, since 2000. It lists as its president and secretary Alexander S Panos, with the address of Stumptown's headquarters on Southeast Division Street.
Panos is a managing director of TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm with investments in Vitamin Water and Voss of Norway, among many other companies.
Carmichael, a vocal critic of specialty coffees, wrote that he was legally bound not to discuss particulars.