One of the country’s best-known coffee chains has been sold to another New Zealand coffee company, in order to aid its expansion overseas. Cooks Global Foods, which runs cafés under the Esquires brand, has agreed to buy Mojo Coffee Cartel for $19 million.

Cooks executive chairman Keith Jackson said that the deal retained Mojo co-founder Steve Gianoutsos and all Mojo staff.

"It has the potential to boost our international growth ambitions, particularly in the US, where it has already established a strong presence in Chicago with increasing customer awareness and American's developing taste for good coffee," said Jackson. “[Mojo] is "a well-established, popular, profitable business with a highly successful brand.”

Gianoutsos will lead the US expansion plan.

"We think Cooks is going to be really good for us in helping expand Mojo. Their experience in international markets and strategy to look globally is going to get our international expansion really firing; it's something we've been pushing for some time.”

Last year Cooks announced that it hoped to have 200 franchised cafés in the US in the next ten years and 800 stores around the world by 2021.