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Benckiser to buy D.E. Master Blenders

April 12, 2013 at 12:08 PM   |   Comments

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LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany, April 12 (UPI) -- German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser said Friday it had reached a deal to buy coffee company D.E. Master Blenders 1753 for $9.8 billion.

The deal values the European coffee company at $16.36 per share, which is higher than the company's closing price for Thursday, but not as high as the $16.70 per share offer under discussion in March, The New York Times reported Friday.

Benckiser already owns 15 percent of D.E. Master Blenders. The company, which is an investment vehicle controlled by the Reimann family, bought both Caribou Coffee and Peet's Coffee & Tea in 2012 for $1.3 billion.

A purchase of D.E. Master Blenders would balance out the firm's coffee interests, as Caribou Coffee and Peet's are coffee shop chains while D.E. Master Blenders packages coffee for home consumption.

"Joh. A. Benckiser and its partners intend to use D.E. Master Blenders as their platform for both organic growth as well as acquisitions in the fast-moving consumer goods coffee and tea categories," Bart Becht, the investment firm's chairman, said in a statement.

"It's a good deal, but slightly disappointing. If the indicative price was set at $12.69 euros, you would expected management to negotiate for a higher price," ING Financial Markets analyst Marco Gulpers said.

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