Peet's Coffee & Tea selling for $1 billion

Popular company to be purchased by Joh. A. Benckiser

Longtime Bay Area fixture Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc. will be sold to a German company for $1 billion, the Emeryville-based company announced in a statement Monday, July 23.

Peet's will be acquired by Joh. A. Benckiser (JAB) for $73.50 per share in cash. The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Peet's board of directors, represents a premium of approximately 29 percent over Peet's closing stock price on July 20.

Peet's Coffee & Tea was founded in Berkeley in 1966 by Alfred Peet. The company will be privately owned and will continue to be operated by the company's current management team and employees, the company announced. Peet's will remain based in the Bay Area, with its home office in Emeryville and its roast-to-order facility in Alameda.

Peets has locations in Palo Alto at 77 Town & Country, 153 Homer Ave., 436 University Ave. and 3904 Middlefield Road.

"We are very excited about this next chapter in Peet's rich history," said Patrick O'Dea, president and CEO of Peet's. "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."

Bart Becht, chairman of JAB, said, "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."

BDT Capital, a Chicago-based merchant bank providing long-term private capital and advice to closely held companies, is participating as an adviser and minority investor, Peet's noted.

The transaction is expected to close in approximately three months, subject to closing conditions including receipt of shareholder and regulatory approvals. The purchase requires the vote of holders of a majority of the company's outstanding shares, which will be sought at a special meeting of shareholders.

Peet was an early tea authority who later became widely recognized as the grandfather of specialty coffee in the United States.

Joh. A. Benckiser is a privately held group focused on long-term investments in premium brands in consumer goods. The group's portfolio includes a majority stake in Coty Inc., a global beauty company. The company owns Labelux, a luxury goods company with brands such as Jimmy Choo, Bally and Belstaff.

Sue Dremann


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:52 am

I suppose that means that a cup of Peet's coffee is going to jump up to $2.00 now--to pay for all the lawyers' fees. Well .. maybe they will start selling good German beer too. Not certain what the Germans know about Coffee .. but they do know beer.

Like this comment
Posted by Vivian
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I was so sad when I came home from work today and my brother broke the news to me of the sale of Peets he said that Star Bucks tried to accquire them and after reading this article I am so happy that JAB is purchasing them Thank God, there is a coffee God. I love & always have loved PEETS Coffee they are by far, the best coffee & teas in the World to me. Please do NOT change a thing.

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