Germany’s JAB To Add Krispy Kreme To Coffee Empire

It’s a sweet takeover for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. JAB Holding Co. , the German conglomerate and owner of bagel, coffee and tea brands announced May 9 that its JAB Beech subsidiary will acquire the 1,121-unit chain for $1.35 billion.

In the past few years, JAB has purchased Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Caribou CoffeePeet’s Coffee & Tea and Stumptown Roasters. Late last year, it spent roughly $13.9 billion to acquire single-serve coffee machine maker Keurig Green Mountain.

Krispy Kreme will remain independently operated in Winston-Salem, N.C. The deal, still subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, is expected to close in the third quarter. The doughnut chain was a Southern mainstay before it started expanding rapidly in the 1990s, opening large outlets across the country’s major metropolitan areas. Krispy Kreme went public in 2000, but then struggled with declining sales. Its systemwide store count grew better than 13% last year, most of that fueled by expansion efforts abroad; 73.5% of the chain’s locations are overseas, compared with 71.8% a year earlier.

In March, Krispy Kreme said it planned to focus more on franchising in the U.S., as well as reducing the cost of opening new stores, and improving customer ordering and flow processes to drive sales.

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