Global investment company LJ Partnership and Tailorspace has taken a 35 per cent stake in coffee brand Mojo.

Tailorspace was set up by richlister Ben Gough, whose family made their money through the sale of heavy construction machinery.

Gough and Brett Gamble set up ADP Investments, an investment vehicle for the partnership of LJ Partnership and Tailorspace, which bought out the previous private equity firm Marmont and Friends shares, of which had involved in the business for close to four years.

LJ Partnership NZ is a joint venture with Tailorspace and LJ Partnership Global. The global business co-invests with high net-worth families around the world.


Companies Register documents show the change in shareholding was finalised last week.

Wellington-based coffee brand Mojo was set to be acquired by NZX-listed Cooks Global Foods for $19 million but the deal fell through in October when conditions were not met.

The investment company approached Mojo after the deal with Cooks Global Foods dissolved.

Gamble, chief executive of Tailorspace and director of ADP Investments, said the foothold Mojo had in the US market was appealing and made the firm want to back it.

The investment companies are diversifying their portfolios.

"New Zealand has become a centre of excellence almost globally for coffee," Gamble said. "We drink a lot of Mojo coffee, we know how good they are and what they do, and so when the opportunity to invest in the company who had aspirations of exporting their capability, and the fact that they had got a foot in the US, we saw that as a great opportunity to partner with a Kiwi brand.

"Our interest in Mojo is in the US growth opportunities. Part of our investment was not only to acquire the existing shares in Mojo but also provide additional capital for Mojo to grow in the US."

Gamble said the investment firm saw growth opportunities for Mojo in a number of global markets, not only in North America.


Mojo co-founder and chief executive Steve Gianoutsos said the coffee brand's connection with Tailorspace went back years. "Pre the earthquakes in Christchurch, we had a store in Christchurch and they were our landlord ... back then we had a really good relationship with them," Gianoutsos said.

Mojo has stores 36 stores in New Zealand, four in Japan, two in China and one store in Chicago. It plans to push further into the US and has three more stores lined up to open in the next six months in Chicago. It will look to open more there and in other US cities in the new year.

"Mojo is a mature business, it's still a growing business, we have the right people and everything in place here and internationally. For them to come in at this stage of our business life is ideal and we're really happy that they're on board."

Long term, Mojo wants to expand into Europe and the UK, likely in 2020.