Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at 8:06 AM
Creative Commons photograoh by Roy Finneren.
Joh A. Benckiser, a German family holding company, is spending nearly a billion dollars to acquire Peet's Coffee & Tea.
I developed a taste for Peet's in college where there was a branch very close to my dorm. Since the chain was from the West Coast, I assumed that anything that was also in Massachusetts must be all around the country. But it turns out to only exist in California, Washington state, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado* and Massachusetts. So I'm out of luck here in D.C., though I buy their beans at the supermarket. I'm hoping new ownership will invest in expanding the brand with new stores in new locations.
But there's really no telling what the new ownership's plans are beyond the fact that Peet's will be taken private. They say they aren't going to be shaking up the management or merging Peet's in any way with a Dutch coffee and tea company they recently took a stake in. Benckiser's holdings, as of now, are mostly in the cosmetics and personal care space, and they're basically value investors rather than people with grandiose plans.
* Correction: Colorado was mistakenly left off the initial version of the list.