Joh. A. Benckiser to Buy Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $974 Million – NYTimes.com

Joh. A. Benckiser to Buy Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $974 Million – NYTimes.com.

Nader Nazemi-Peet's Coffee & Tea

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

It is a good deal. There will always be demand for coffee.

If it can’t buy a cosmetics company, Joh. A. Benckiser will take coffee instead.

The German conglomerate said on Monday that it would buy Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $973.9 million in cash, taking control of one of the country’s oldest purveyors of specialty coffee.

Under the terms of the deal, Benckiser will pay $73.50 a share, nearly 29 percent above Peet’s closing price on Friday.

Founded in 1966 in Berkeley, Calif., Peet’s has grown from a single shop to 196 stores in six states. The company also has a grocery coffee business that has recently outperformed the retail business.

Peet’s occupies a notable place in the evolution of American coffee drinking. It was the first company to successfully offer higher grades of coffee, like arabica, and was the initial supplier to a nascent Seattle-based coffee shop named Starbucks. And it maintains a fan base whose members are known as “peetniks.”

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