Bloomberg News

JAB Removes Conditions From $10 Billion Master Blenders Takeover

September 18, 2013

D.E. Master Blenders Douwe Egberts Production Line

Packets of coffee move along the production line at the Douwe Egberts production plant, operated by D.E. Master Blenders 1753 NV, in Utrecht. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Joh. A. Benckiser removed conditions from its takeover bid for Dutch coffee maker D.E Master Blenders (DE) 1753 NV and said Pierre Laubies, a former Mars Inc. manager, will become chief executive officer.

“All conditions for a successful offer have been satisfied or waived,” JAB, the Vienna-based investment arm of the billionaire Reimann family, said in a statement today. About 91.8 percent of all shares have been committed, and JAB said it canceled a requirement to get 95 percent of the shares.

JAB said on April 12 it agreed to buy Master Blenders, the Amsterdam-based maker of Douwe Egberts, for about 7.5 billion euros ($10 billion) to build a coffee conglomerate in the industry’s biggest deal ever. JAB also owns Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc. and Caribou Coffee Co.

French-born Laubies, who has run Mars’s global pet food business and previously was head of Europe for Campbell Soup Co. (CPB:US), will replace Michiel Herkemij, who left in December after only 12 months in charge. Jan Bennink, who oversaw the company’s spinoff from Sara Lee Corp. last year, has run Master Blenders during the search for a successor.

Master Blenders also named JAB co-chiefs Peter Harf, Bart Becht and Olivier Goudet to its board, along with Byron Trott, head of BDT Capital Partners LLC, the Chicago-based investment firm that’s helping fund the deal. The appointment will be effective as of Sept. 23.

Investors who accepted the offer will receive 12.50 euros a share, Oak Leaf, a unit of JAB, said. Shareholders who haven’t tendered have the possibility to do so in a post-closing acceptance period starting tomorrow and ending Sept. 25, the investment company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Cruz in Frankfurt at jcruz6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net


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