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Benckiser snaps up Caribou Coffee for $340 million news
21 December 2012

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.

Caribou's coffees are available at grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, office coffee and foodservice providers, hotels, entertainment venues and e-commerce channels.

Caribou Coffee is a great company, with dedicated people, world-class customer service, exceptionally high quality coffeehouse beverages and food and a state-of-the-art roasting facility. The employees of Caribou should feel very proud of all they've been able to accomplish over the years, and I look forward to continued success in Caribou's future,'' said Gary Graves, non-executive chairman of Caribou.

''Caribou has a fantastic brand and unique culture, and fits perfectly with JAB's investment philosophy of investing in premium and unique brands in attractive growth categories like coffee,'' said Bart Becht, chairman of JAB.

''JAB is committed to investing in Caribou as a standalone business out of Minneapolis to ensure the Company continues its current highly successful track record,'' he added.

Apart from a stake in Coty and Reckitt Benckiser, Vienna-based JAB  also owns Labelux, a luxury goods company with brands such as Jimmy Choo, Bally and Belstaff.

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Benckiser snaps up Caribou Coffee for $340 million