By Ben Dummett 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (May 30, 2020).

The European owner of Peet's Coffee saw its shares jump almost 14% in their trading debut Friday, marking one of the world's biggest initial public offerings so far this year in a deal that valued the coffee business at EUR15.6 billion ($17.3 billion).

Backed by investment firm JAB Holding Co., JDE Peet's BV's shares closed at EUR35.84 Friday following its listing on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. The IPO was priced at EUR31.50 a share, toward the high end of the target range.

Other JAB businesses include Krispy Kreme and Keurig Dr Pepper.

JDE Peet's, which also counts Douwe Egberts, Jacobs, Senseo and Tassimo among its coffee brands, bet that the resilience of coffee demand during economic downturns would attract investors despite slumping IPO markets in Europe and the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The wager paid off. JDE Peet's is selling around 71.4 million shares, or about 14% of the coffee and tea business for a total of EUR2.25 billion. That makes it Europe's largest IPO and the second-biggest globally this year after Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Corp.'s $4.4 billion offering in early January, according to Dealogic data. The pricing came less than a week after bankers officially launched marketing for the deal, underscoring the strength of investor demand.

The IPO could offer some hope for other companies that can show that the pandemic hasn't derailed their operations. Warner Music Group is eyeing an offering that could value the music company at $11.7 billion to $13.3 billion, a bet that the music industry will prosper even during times of market upheaval.

JDE Peet's sells coffee across the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia through both cafes and grocery stores. About 80% of its coffee is sold for at-home consumption, a market that has held up so far during lockdowns.

The Netherlands-based company reported first-quarter revenue of EUR1.68 billion, up 3% from a year earlier. It expects a rise in comparable sales, which exclude the impact of acquisitions, for 2020's first half, according to its IPO filing.

JDE Peet's faces stiff competition from Nestlé SA, the world's biggest coffee retailer, in the at-home-use market. Last year, Nestlé commanded almost 25% of the coffee market based on retail sales, followed by JDE Peet's which has just over 10% of the market, according to Euromonitor data.

At the same time, JDE Peet's smaller business as an operator of a network of coffee shops represents a potential risk for IPO investors depending on how quickly people are able to return to their normal lives. The company said revenue from its out-of-home business was down after it was forced to temporarily close retail stores due to the pandemic.

"Disruptions related to widespread public-health concerns, including the Covid-19 pandemic, could materially adversely impact the group's business, financial condition or results of operations," the company warned in its prospectus.

JDE Peet's is selling about 22.2 million new shares as part of the IPO for about EUR700 million. It will use that money to pay down debt. The remainder will go to existing shareholders, including Oreo cookies owner Mondelez International Inc., for selling down their positions.

JAB Holding, which bought an additional EUR300 million worth of stock in the IPO, remains the company's controlling shareholder.

Write to Ben Dummett at ben.dummett@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 30, 2020 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)

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