The new company will be re-named United Coffee UK and operated by a single management team to be led by Elaine Higginson, former managing director of First Choice. The move forms a further part of the re-structuring plan revealed by the company on March 25, 2010 sketching out its intentions to grow in European coffee industry through a combination of consolidation and organic growth.
In the UK, First Choice Coffee operates in the out-of-home segment, while Gala Coffee is a private label coffee company in the retail sector. According to the company, the merger of the two businesses will create one total solutions coffee provider serving both these markets.
United Coffee, which operates in the private label and single portion coffee sector, owns many retail and out-of-home brands. In addition to its operations in the UK, the company also has operations across Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
Elaine Higginson, head of United Coffee UK, said: "We are proud of the success that our UK businesses have achieved to date and believe that this merger will help to enhance the growth of both parts of the business going forward.
"United Coffee will also be rolling out the First Choice concept across Europe, which will further strengthen the brand across the Continent. We look forward to continuing to service our loyal customers and grow United Coffee across the UK."
United Coffee, headquartered in Geneva, is a coffee roaster, and producer and distributor of a range of coffee, coffee equipment and related services through retail and out-of-home distribution channels. The company roasts approximately 50,000 tons of coffee per year.