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.”