Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Inc. and Joh. A. Benckiser (JAB) announced on 23 July that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which JAB will acquire Peet’s for US$73.50 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $1 billion. The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Peet’s Board of Directors, represents a premium of approximately 29 per cent over Peet’s closing stock price on 20 July 2012, the parties said in a joint statement. At the close of the transaction, Peet’s will be privately owned and will continue to be operated by the company’s current management team and employees. Peet’s Coffee & Tea, founded in Berkeley, CA in 1966 by Alfred Peet, will remain based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its home office in Emeryville and its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified roast-to-order facility in Alameda, the statement noted. “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.” Jean-Michel Valette, Chairman of the Board of Peet’s, added: “In my experience it is rare to find a company and a brand as special as Peet’s. We are pleased that JAB recognizes this and that Peet’s existing shareholders will be rewarded with significant value.” JAB is a privately held group focused on long term investments in premium brands in the broader consumer goods category. The group’s portfolio includes a majority stake in Coty Inc., a minority stake in Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, and a minority investment in D.E Master Blenders 1753. The group also owns Labelux, a luxury goods company with brands such as Jimmy Choo, Bally and Belstaff. “At JAB, we are committed to owning and investing in companies with strong, premier-quality brands and great people whose values we share,” said Bart Becht, Chairman of JAB. “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.” In addition to JAB, BDT Capital, a Chicago-based merchant bank that provides long-term private capital and advice to closely held companies, is participating in this transaction as an advisor and minority investor, the statement noted. The transaction is structured as a one-step merger with Peet’s as the surviving corporation, and is not subject to a financing condition. It is expected to close in approximately three months, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of shareholder and regulatory approvals. The transaction requires the affirmative vote of holders of a majority of the company’s outstanding shares, which will be sought at a special meeting of shareholders, the statement said. In light of the 23 July announcement, Peet’s said it would not be holding a conference call to discuss its second quarter fiscal 2012 results.