According to the British media, Dutch coffee and tea group Douwe Egberts (officially DE Master Blenders) will be acquired by a German company. Quite possibly, it will disappear altogether from the stock exchange - where it was only introduced last June.
Offer of 7.6 billion euro
JAB or Joh. A. Benckiser wants to make an offer of 12.75 euro per share, totalling of 7.6 billion euro for a complete acquisition. DE Master Blenders confirms the board of directors is researching the offer and that JAB has gotten permission to look at the books, but so far there has been no formal offer.
The news of a possible takeover has been well received at the exchange: not only because analysts are saying it is a fair price, but also because a takeover can mean better tidings for DE Master Blenders. Ever since the company was split off from Sara Lee, it has met one problem after another: first there was the financial mess in Brazil, then came the confession of the watered down Senseo and late last year the CEO quit after frictions with the board of directors.
JAB likes a cup of coffee (among others)
For the investment company of the German family Reimann, who got rich through Reckitt Benckiser, this would be their third coffee company as they already have premium coffee retailer Caribou Coffee in their portfolio and last year the Germans acquired a majority in the American Peet’s Coffee & Tea.
JAB also likes some other things than coffee: they still are the biggest shareholders of Reckitt Benckiser, a British producer of cleaning products (Dettol, Calgon, Finish and Airwick…) and (para)pharmaceutical brands such as Durex, Nurofen and Strepsils. It does not stop there, because JAB also has its say at Labelux, the luxury company above Jimmy Choo. They are definitely no small potatoes.