UPDATE 2-Coffee maker JDE Peet’s valued at $17.3 bln in virtual IPO, shares surge

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Shares in coffee maker JDE Peet’s surged almost 13% in their stock market debut on Friday as investors jumped on one of the few big IPOs launched during the coronavirus crisis.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a Peet’s coffee shop in Washington, U.S., May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Shares in the world’s No. 2 maker of packaged coffee, whose brands include Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee and Jacobs, were priced at 31.50 euros, valuing the firm at 15.6 billion euros ($17.3 billion). They were trading at 35.55 euros by 0755 GMT.

JDE Peet’s raised 700 million euros through the sale of new shares, which it plans to use to pay down debt. Existing shareholders Acorn, controlled by German investor JAB Holding, and Mondelez, sold an additional 1.55 billion euros worth of stock, for a total of 2.25 billion euros. That represents a 16.5% stake in the company.

JDE Peet’s decision to go public despite the IPO market being largely closed since the coronavirus outbreak began to gather steam in March has proved a winning bet.

The offer drew big-name cornerstone investors, notably George Soros’s Quantum Partners and Fidelity Management and Research (FMR).

“We are thrilled to price this offer on Euronext Amsterdam during this extraordinary time,” said CEO Casey Keller in a statement.

“Seeing the investor interest in JDE Peet’s reinforces the belief in our strategy and solidifies our role as a global leader in coffee and tea.”

Safety concerns and restrictions on travel meant that pre-listing road shows took place in digital-only format. High demand for the offer meant that bankers were able to wrap up in less than two weeks a process that usually takes more than a month.

JDE Peet’s, which competes with Nestle and Starbucks and also owns the Pickwick, Senseo, Tassimo, TiOra and L’OR brands, had revenue of 6.9 billion euros in 2019, with the bulk of its products sold to supermarkets and businesses. It also operates retail chain stores including well-known U.S. brand Peet’s. Net profit in 2019 was 585 million euros.

JAB continues to control the company via Acorn, which will have a 62% stake. Mondelez will hold 23.4%. BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan acted as joint global coordinators on the deal.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Stephen Coates and Kirsten Donovan

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