You’re probably not familiar with JAB Holding Company, but if you’re an American coffee drinker, you might want be. The Luxembourg-headquartered private investment firm announced today that they are acquiring coffee pod producing giant Keurig Green Mountain in a massive $13.9 billion buyout.
Of course, non-Keurig drinkers might wonder why they should care. Even pod lovers might think they have little reason to bother about who owns the company that makes their K-cups. But beyond the incredible financials of the deal, it’s JAB Holding’s complete portfolio that makes the acquisition more interesting.
In 2012, JAB acquired Caribou Coffee and Peet’s Coffee & Tea, two of America’s largest coffee chains. The latter of those two companies recently made headlines by acquiring two of the US’s best-known third-wave coffee roasters Stumptown and Intelligentsia.
Though this latest deal doesn’t necessarily mean that all these individually operated companies will suddenly be intermingling, offering up Stumptown K-cups for sale at Peet’s Coffee & Tea, it does mean that a number of key US coffee players are now all owned by the same giant European-based company. JAB also has large stakes in a number of international coffee brands as well.
For the record, Keurig and JAB said in a joint press release that Keurig “will continue to be operated independently by the company’s management team and employees” and continue to be headquartered in Vermont. But as JAB Chairman Bart Becht said, “Keurig Green Mountain represents a major step forward in the creation of our global coffee platform.” It almost sounds like it might be part of the plot of the new Star Wars movie.
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