The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® Inks Exclusive Area Development Agreement For Territory Of Japan L.A. Style Inc., a new joint venture between HOTLAND Co., Ltd., and AEON MALL Co., Ltd., signs with the Southern California brand to begin brewing premium coffee and teas in Japan by the end of 2014, marking expansion into 25 countries worldwide

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, Southern California's oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the U.S., announces the signing of an exclusive area development agreement with developer, L.A. Style, to introduce its premium beverages and innovative brand culture to the territory of Japan. L.A. Style is a joint-venture partnership between HOTLAND Co., Ltd., an experienced and actively growing operator in the Japanese fast-casual restaurant segment and AEON MALL Co., Ltd., Japan's largest shopping mall developer. Launching its first store by year's end, L.A. Style Inc. intends to grow the brand's presence nationally with an expected 200 stores across Japan. With the expansion into Japan, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® solidifies its already strong Asian footprint, which is a critical component of the company's growth and expansion strategy. This deal marks the company's presence in 25 countries as it fast approaches 1,000 company-owned and franchise stores worldwide.

"It's an exciting time to enter such a prolific coffee market like Japan, where we can appeal to consumers who are searching for an exceptional coffee and tea experience," President and CEO John Dawson says. "We're eager to bring our brand of signature beverages and unique store experience to Japan and confident that L.A. Style, with its vast experience and resources, will guarantee continued growth in Japan for years to come. This is an important milestone demonstrating our commitment to continued growth in Asia."

"We are honored and proud to be able to introduce a brand with such rich history as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® to Japanese consumers," President of L.A. Style Inc., Morio Sase says. "We look forward to growing this iconic American brand into one that is loved by customers throughout our country, and will work tirelessly to contribute to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®'s brand equity and continued growth."

The expansion into Japan is the latest major announcement in the brand's growth and expansion initiatives enacted since the appointment of John Dawson in January 2014, and following the September 2013 investment by private equity firms Advent International, CDIB Capital, and Mirae Private Equity. While The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® works to expand its international footprint; it is also investing in its home market of Southern California, opening new stores and bolstering executive ranks with seasoned talent. The brand is currently in the midst of a robust 'Keep Cool and Summer On' Summer 2014 advertising campaign in the U.S., the largest to date in its company history.

About The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®
Born and brewed in Southern California since 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is the oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States. Embodying a passion for connecting loyal customers to one another with carefully handcrafted products, the company is known for sourcing and providing the finest ingredients and flavors from around the world. For more than 50 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has demonstrated a passion for product innovation epitomized by The Original Ice Blended® drink. The company has grown to be an international icon and currently is fast approaching 1,000 stores in 24 countries. Please visit CoffeeBean.com for more information.

About L.A. Style Inc.
L.A. Style is a newly formed joint venture between HOTLAND Co., Ltd., an experienced food provider throughout Asia, and AEON MALL Co., Ltd., Japan's largest shopping mall developer. The partnership is overseen by President Morio Sase.

About HOTLAND Co., Ltd.
HOTLAND Co., Ltd., founded in 1991, is a growing and experienced fast casual F&B operator in Japan which operates 531 locations across international markets including Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia and Hong Kong. HOTLAND also operates other concepts that realize traditional Japanese foods in approachable, fast-casual formats, and recently acquired "Cold Stone Creamery Japan Co., Ltd."

About AEON MALL Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1911, AEON MALL Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of AEON CO., LTD., which is Japan's largest retail organization with a total of 300 group companies in 14 Asian countries.  AEON MALL is a specialist shopping mall developer, focusing on large-scale shopping malls, tenant leasing and operation/management.

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SOURCE The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf



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