Mondelez International and D.E Master Blenders 1753 B.V. plan to combine their respective coffee businesses to create the world’s leading pure-play coffee company, with annual revenues of more than $7 billion.
The new company, to be called Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), will be based in the Netherlands. It will hold leading market positions in more than two dozen countries and have a strong emerging market presence, giving it significant revenue synergy opportunities in the $81 billion global coffee category, according to the two companies, which own some of the world’s leading coffee brands, such as Jacobs, Carte Noire, Gevalia, Kenco, Tassimo and Millicano from Mondelez International and Douwe Egberts, L’OR, Pilao and Senseo from D.E Master Blenders 1753.
“Jacobs Douwe Egberts will leverage the rich histories of both companies, combining our complementary geographic footprints, portfolios of iconic brands and innovative technologies to offer more people around the world more access to high-quality coffee and allowing the company to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in a highly attractive market,” said Pierre Laubies, CEO of Amsterdam-based D.E Master Blenders 1753 and prospective CEO of the combined company.
“We’re delighted with this transaction and the substantial value we expect to create for our shareholders,” said Irene Rosenfeld, chair and CEO of Mondelez International, whose coffee portfolio has outpaced market growth since 2010, thanks to innovations like the Tassimo multibeverage on-demand brewing system and Millicano wholebean instant coffee. “By retaining a significant stake in the combined company, we’ll continue to benefit from the future growth of the coffee category and share in the synergies and tremendous upside of this leading, one-of-a-kind coffee company.”
The parties have entered into an agreement to combine Mondelez International’s wholly owned coffee portfolio (outside of France) with D.E Master Blenders 1753. In conjunction with this transaction, Acorn Holdings B.V. (AHBV), owner of D.E Master Blenders 1753, has made a binding offer to receive Mondelez International’s coffee business in France. The parties also have invited Mondelez International’s partners in certain joint ventures to join the new company. The transactions remain subject to regulatory approvals and the completion of employee information and consultation requirements.
In 2013, Mondelez International’s wholly owned coffee business generated approximately $3.9 billion in revenue, and D.E Master Blenders 1753 generated approximately $3.4 billion in revenue.
Upon completion of all proposed transactions, Mondelez International will receive cash of approximately $5 billion and a 49 percent equity interest in Jacobs Douwe Egberts. AHBV will hold a majority share in the proposed combined company and will have a majority of the seats on the board, which will be chaired by current D.E Master Blenders 1753 Chairman Bart Becht. AHBV is owned by an investor group led by JAB Holding Co. Mondelez International will have certain minority rights.
The transactions are expected to be completed in the course of 2015, subject to limited closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. During this time, Mondelez International and D.E Master Blenders 1753 will undertake consultations with all works councils and employee representatives as required in connection with the transactions.
The new company’s executive leadership team will be named at a later date and will consist of executives from both D.E Master Blenders 1753 and Mondelez International.