Benckiser snaps up Caribou Coffee for $340 million

German private investment firm Joh A Benckiser (JAB) yesterday said that it will acquire Caribou Coffee Company,  the second-largest company-owned premium coffeehouse operator in the US, for $340 million.

JAB, the investment vehicle for the Reimann family, which also holds stake in household products maker Reckitt Benckiser Plc and fragrance company Coty, will pay $16 per share in cash, a premium of approximately 30 percent over Caribou's closing price on 14 December.

Post closing, Caribou will continue to be operated as an independent company with its own brand and management team.

The proposed acquistion comes less than six months after JAB acquired a 12.2-per cent stake in Dutch maker of Pickwick tea and Senseo single-serve coffee pads D.E Master Blenders 1753 NV and bought Berkeley, California-based Peet's Coffee & Tea, for about $1 billion. (See: Germany's Joh A Benckiser to acquire Peet's Coffee & Tea for $1 bn)

Founded in 1992 by John and Kim Puckett, Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Caribou is  the second largest specialty coffee and espresso retailer in the US after Starbucks.

Caribou sells coffee, tea, and bakery goods in around 408 company-owned and 202 franchise coffeehouses in 22 states, the District of Columbia, and ten international markets.