Peet's Coffee & Tea to be sold for $978M, but not to Starbucks
German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser will shell out $73.50 a share to buy the Emeryville, Calif., company. Last spring, Peet's and Starbucks were rumored to be in talks to combine.
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Coffee chain Peet's Coffee & Tea is going private for $977.6 million — but it's not being sold to Starbucks, its giant Seattle rival.
Instead, German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser will shell out $73.50 a share to buy the Emeryville, Calif., company, paying a 29 percent premium on Friday's $57.16 closing price. Peet's had just less than 200 stores as of this spring.
Last spring, Peet's and Starbucks were rumored to be in talks to combine in an effort to boost both brands' presence in groceries.
Peet's founder Alfred Peet knew the Starbucks founders and sold them coffee beans when they launched their business a few years after Peet's first opened.
Peet's will go to a company better known for holdings in beauty and luxury.
Benckiser owns a majority stake in Coty, the maker of OPI nail polish and celebrity perfumes. Coty recently abandoned its attempts to buy beauty company Avon Products for $10.7 billion and said it instead plans to raise $700 million in an initial public offering.
Benckiser also owns Labelux, a luxury-goods company with brands such as Jimmy Choo and Bally.
The deal with Peet's, unanimously approved by the coffee-maker's board, is expected to close in about three months.
Peet's was founded in 1966 in Berkeley, Calif., and has an eco-friendly roasting facility in Alameda, Calif. Operations will stay based a few minutes away in Emeryville; the current management team and employees will continue to run the company.
In 2009, Peet's lost a bidding war to buy Irvine, Calif., coffee roaster Diedrich Coffee. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ended up picking up the company for $290 million.