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A worker prepares coffee at a Van Houtte Bistro Tuesday, September 14, 2010 in Montreal.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Keurig Green Mountain Inc. has sold its Canadian café chain Van Houtte to quick service restaurant operator MTY Group Inc. as the U.S. coffee company gets out of food service operation to focus on roasting and distributing coffee.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Montreal-based MTY will own and operate Van Houtte café-bistros, acquiring certain unspecified assets from Keurig to run the business, the companies said in a statement Friday. Keurig will maintain ownership of the Van Houtte brand, image and wholesale business, according to the statement.

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Van Houtte's 50 franchised cafés and one Keurig-owned café-bistro, all located in Quebec, generated total franchise sales of more than $25-million in the year ended Sept. 29, 2014. The name was more popular with consumers in years past but still enjoys a strong loyal local following.

"It's still a pretty strong brand and we think if we give it the attention it deserves, we can really revive it," said Eric Lefebvre, MTY's chief financial officer.

He said he believes Keurig wanted to sell Van Houtte to focus on its core business of roasting coffee and selling single-cup portions. It was the only operation outside that core business that Keurig had, Mr. Lefebvre said.

For MTY, the deal adds yet more franchised stores to its food service network. Roughly 45 per cent of its 2,700 food outlets are street-front locations.

Under the agreement, MTY will offer only Van Houtte branded coffee and other Keurig-brewed products for sale in the Van Houtte cafés. Keurig has licensed use of the Van Houtte brand to MTY in perpetuity.

The transaction closed Nov.7, the parties said.

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