Peet’s Coffee & Tea, founded in Berkeley in 1966 by Alfred Peet, has been bought by private German investment group Joh A. Benckiser for around $1 billion.
Benckiser owns most of Coty Inc. — a French beauty company that sells many celebrity fragrances — and luxury goods company Labelux, which sells products such as those made by Jimmy Choo. Benckiser also has a minority investment in D.E Master Blenders 1753, an international tea and coffee company. The stock will be sold at $73.50 per share to Benckiser for a total of close to $977.6 million.
“In my experience it is rare to find a company and a brand as special as Peet’s,” said Jean-Michel Valette, Chairman of the Board of Peet’s, in a press release. “We are pleased that JAB recognizes this and that Peet’s existing shareholders will be rewarded with significant value.”
Although the company is based locally, Peet’s has extended to five other states and its products are sold through stores such as Safeway.
According to the press release, although Peet’s is being sold, the company will remain based in the Bay Area, the home office will remain in Emeryville and the roasting facility will remain in Alameda.
“At JAB, we are committed to owning and investing in companies with strong, premier-quality brands and great people whose values we share,” said Chairman of Benckiser Bart Becht in the release. “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.”
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