Krispy Kreme shareholders got a caffeine boost after coffee giant JAB Beech said Monday it is acquiring the doughnut chain, the AP reports. The Luxembourg-based investment firm, which owns Keurig Green Mountain, Peet's Coffee & Tea, and Caribou Coffee, said it is taking the North Carolina doughnut company private in a deal worth about $1.35 billion. Krispy Kreme's stock soared more than 24% in morning trading. The deal comes after JAB Holdings recently added to its coffee empire with the acquisition of Keurig. JAB Holdings, which is predominantly owned by the Reimann family in Europe, also has stakes in Jacobs Douwe Egberts, the company behind Gevalia, Tassio, and other brands. Outside of coffee, JAB Holding has stakes in bagel shop operator Einstein Noah, beauty products maker Coty, and high-end shoe seller Jimmy Choo.
The companies said Krispy Kreme will continue to be independently operated from its headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Krispy Kreme, which was founded in 1937, has more than 1,100 shops around the world, with about 300 of those in the US. For its fiscal 2017, Krispy Kreme had said in March that it planned to open about 120 to 140 new international locations, in addition to about 30 new shops domestically. Unlike its larger rival Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme in the US still gets most of its business from doughnuts and other pastries, rather than coffee drinks and sandwiches. But Krispy Kreme has said that it wants step up its beverage sales. Peter Harf, a senior partner at JAB, said the acquisition is part of the firm's strategy of investing in brands with significant growth prospects. (Read more Krispy Kreme stories.)