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Owner Of Peet's Coffee Presses Ahead With $2 Billion IPO

EMERYVILLE (CBS SF / CNN) -- JDE Peet's, the owner of Bay Area-based Peet's Coffee, is pressing ahead with plans to raise as much as $2.2 billion in what could be Europe's biggest IPO this year, despite turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which bills itself as the world's largest pure-play coffee and tea group, said Tuesday it plans to raise €700 million ($768 million) via an IPO in Amsterdam in the coming weeks. It plans to use part of the proceeds to repay outstanding debt.

JAB Holdings, the investment firm behind Peet's, Panera and Pret A Manger, will retain its majority stake, the company said. JAB, which is controlled by Germany's billionaire Reimann family, has more than $100 billion in assets. It also owns Krispy Kreme and Keurig Dr Pepper.

Founded by Alfred Peet in Berkeley in 1966, Peet's coffee was acquired by JAB in 2012. The company continues to have strong ties to the Bay Area, with headquarters in Emeryville, and a roasting plant in Alameda.

JAB hopes to raise up to an additional €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) via the listing, with the remainder coming from existing shareholders, which include Mondelez International, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

"We believe JDE Peet's is well-positioned for growth and we look forward to attracting new shareholders who can participate in our exciting future," JDE Peet's chief executive Casey Keller said in a statement. "The coffee and tea categories have benefited in the past from attractive growth fundamentals and have proven to be resilient in times of economic downturn," the company said.

Almost 80% of JDE Peet's business involves coffee consumed at home, including beans, instant, capsules and pods. The company, which also owns the Jacobs, Douwe Egberts and L'OR brands, sells coffee and tea in more than 140 countries and had revenue of €6.9 billion ($7.5 billion) in 2019.

The listing marks a rare bright spot this year for the IPO market across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The EMEA region has registered 28 IPOs in the first three months of 2020, the weakest activity for a quarter in more than seven years, according to Dealogic. High levels of volatility and a sharp drop in regional indexes, including MSCI Europe, have "repelled investors from IPOs," the deal analytics company said in an April research note.

JDE Peet's is the largest IPO that's been filed in the region this year, followed by the March flotation of Saudi pediatrician Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib's eponymous health care company in Tadawul for $699 million.

Coffee and tea sales globally have grown from €83 billion ($90.7 billion) in 2007 to €118 billion ($129 billion) in 2019, according to Euromonitor International, which sees demand for premium coffee across all channels.

JAB, which has bought or combined around 15 coffee and tea brands in the past seven years, is clearly banking on continued strong consumer demand. Past deals include the acquisition of upmarket American roasters Intelligentsia and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, as well as the $10 billion takeover of Douwe Egberts.

It's not the only consumer goods giant betting big on hot drinks. Rival Nestle, already one of the world's biggest coffee companies, paid $7.2 billion in 2018 to distribute Starbucks' packaged coffees and teas around the world. That same year, Coca-Cola bought Costa Coffee for $5.1 billion to secure its spot in the market.

JDE Peet's said it intends to focus on increasing its household penetration in the United States, driving growth in emerging markets, expanding its retail coffee stores business in China and capturing attractive out-of-home opportunities.

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