Douwe Egberts coffee firm agrees to takeover bid

Coffee cup JAB is looking to build a beverage company to eventually rival Nestle

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The Dutch firm behind the Douwe Egberts coffee brand has agreed to be bought for 7.5bn euros ($9.84bn; £6.4bn)

DE Master Blenders said it had agreed to an offer from the JAB group, led by German investor Joh A Benckiser.

JAB will add Douwe Egberts to its stable of global coffee brands, which includes Caribou Coffee and Peet's Coffee & Tea.

JAB was already the largest shareholder in DE Master Blenders, with a stake of more than 15%.

JAB, which is the investment vehicle of the Reimann family, is looking to build a beverage company to eventually rival the global leader Nestle.

Nestle sold $17.12bn worth of coffee last year, while Mondelez International (formerly known as Kraft) ranked second at $8.32bn, according to Euromonitor International.

DE Master Blenders, which also owns Senseo coffee and Pickwick Tea, ranks third with annual sales of about $3.48bn.

The Dutch company was spun off from the Sara Lee Corporation last year, and had a somewhat shaky start.

Within weeks of listing on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, DE Master Blenders shocked the market with news that its Brazilian business had been hit by fraud, tax and inventory issues. It was forced to restate its past financial statements.

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