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German co. buys Caribou Coffee for $340M

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The German conglomerate Joh. A. Benckiser agreed on Monday to buy the Caribou Coffee Company for about $340 million. The company, the second-largest company-operated premium coffeehouse operator in the U.S. with 610 locations, will keep its headquarters in Minneapolis, the Associated Press reports.

The 20-year-old Caribou Coffee Co. will continue to be run as an independent company with its own brand and management team after the buyout, the AP reports.

Here's the press release, with more information about Benckiser. Among the company's assets is Labelux, a luxury leather goods company with brands that include high-end women's shoe manufacturer Jimmy Choo.

The $16-a-share cash offer is a 30 percent premium over Caribou’s closing share price of $12.32 on Dec. 14, the companies said in the statement.

“Caribou has a fantastic brand and unique culture, and fits perfectly with JAB’s investment philosophy of investing in premium and unique brands in attractive growth categories like coffee,” Bart Becht, Benckiser’s chairman, said in the statement.

Benckiser has a taste for java. Five months ago, it announced the $974 million acquisition of Peet’s Coffee & Tea, one of America’s oldest specialty coffee sellers, the New York Times noted.

The company has been trying to expand its brand recently by adding kiosks at retailers including Supervalu Inc.’s Jewel-Osco grocery stores, Bloomberg notes.

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