Caffè Nero has announced it has acquired the Harris & Hoole coffee business from Tesco.

Harris & Hoole currently operates 43 sites in both high street (12) and supermarket (31) locations.

Caffè Nero, which acquired three Harris + Hoole sites in a separate deal last year, intends to retain the Harris & Hoole brand and grow the business. It was thought at the time of the first deal that Caffe Nero had an option to acquire the remaing Harris + Hoole estate, which was placed on the market by Tesco earlier this year.

It is thought to have beaten off competition from a private equity group to secure the business, in which Tesco acquired a stake in 2012.

Gerry Ford, chairman and chief executive of Caffe Nero, which operates c570 sites and has ambitions to grow to c750 in the UK, said: “Today’s acquisition is the start of an exciting new journey for both Harris & Hoole and Caffè Nero. Harris & Hoole has a strong reputation for high quality coffee and that is what Caffè Nero is all about. This focus on coffee quality coupled with their enthusiastic and knowledgeable baristas give me reason to be excited about developing and growing the Harris & Hoole business over the coming years.”

Tesco acquired the reamining stake in Harris + Hoole from tjhe Tolley family, who set up the business with the retailer as a joint venture, earlier this year.

Nick Tolley and his siblings Laura and Andrew are now focussing on theirTaylor Street Baristas business, which recently launched a site in New York.

The move to sell of its non-core assets is expected to help Tesco educe losses and focus on its core supermarket business.

Earlier this month it sold the Dobbies garden centre chain for £217m and sold Giraffe to Boparan Ventures.

The majority of the non-core businesses were acquired by Philip Clarke, the former chief executive of Tesco, with the main reasoning behind the deals being to help the supermarket chain diversify from its retail business and utilise excess space at some of its stores