Founded in 1997 by Gerry Ford, who wanted to create authentic Italian coffee houses, Caffè Nero now has more than 400 outlets in Britain, plus bars in many airports and railway stations. The company has also expanded internationally, opening outlets in Turkey in 2007 and parts of the Middle East in 2008. The venture-capital firm Paladin, itself co-founded by Ford, provided £2m of start-up funding and invested again in a 2007 £230m public-to-private buyout. Sales were £142.3m in 2009.
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