Specialty beverage company Peet's Coffee & Tea, Inc. (PEET: Quote) agreed Monday to be taken private by Joh. A. Benckiser for $73.50 per share in an all-cash deal of about $1 billion. The deal, unanimously approved by Peet's Board of Directors, is expected to close in about three months.
Joh. A. Benckiser or JAB, is the German holding company that manages the interests of the family of Johann A. Benckiser. Apart from JAB, Chicago-based merchant bank BDT Capital Partners is also participating in the deal as an adviser and minority investor.
"We are very excited about this next chapter in Peet's rich history. Over many years we've demonstrated an unyielding commitment to craft coffees and teas of uncompromised quality. This commitment is what has distinguished the Peet's brand among all others and will continue to guide us as we go forward," Peet's President and CEO Patrick O'Dea said in a statement.
The offer price represents a 28.6 percent premium over Peet's' closing stock price of $57.16 on Friday. Following the news, Peet's shares are surging about 29 percent in early trades in a bid to match the offer price.
Following the closure of the deal, Peet's will become a privately owned company and will continue to be operated by its current management team and employees, and remain based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The deal is not subject to a financing condition, but requires the affirmative vote of holders of a majority of Peet's outstanding shares.
"At JAB, we are committed to owning and investing in companies with strong, premier-quality brands and great people whose values we share. Peet's is just such a company and we look forward to preserving the company's culture and core values, while supporting management's vision for future growth," JAB Chairman Bart Becht noted.
For the deal, Citigroup is serving as exclusive financial adviser to Peet's, and Cooley LLP is acting as Peet's legal adviser.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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