Douwe Egberts goes public for the third time
Douwe Egberts, now a subsidiary of the American-German-Dutch company JDE Peet’s, is set to make its second return onto the Amsterdam exchange. The coffee company made its first appearance at Beursplein 5 in 1982. Because its former American parent company, which would later be known as Sara Lee, decided to delist the company shortly after, its initial run on the exchange only lasted until 1984.
During its time as a subsidiary of the American food group, the coffee and tea producer from Joure remained relatively anonymous. Sara Lee’s decision to split off Douwe Egberts and relist it under a new name – DE Master Blenders 1753 – in 2012 was therefore met with great joy. Even Prime Minister Rutte campaigned for the return of our ‘national coffee pride’ and was personally present at the IPO ceremony on 12 June 2012.
However, DE’s second listing as a publicly traded company was also short-lived. In 2013, JAB, an investment vehicle owned by the wealthy Reimann family from Germany, made the surprising decision to delist the company a second time, to the indignation of many. Doubts started to arise about the original intentions behind the IPO, with some even accusing those in charge of the coffee company that they had only briefly gone public with the company for their own financial gains. This was rejected by others, who indicated that the company’s premature exit may have been caused by JAB’s offer, which was simply too good to refuse.
After a merger with German company Jacobs and Californian Peet’s, JAB is now floating Douwe Egberts on the Amsterdam exchange once more, now as a subsidiary of JDE Peet’s. In addition to issuing over 20 million new shares, current shareholders will bring approximately 50 million existing shares with them. This new IPO, which was only open to institutional investors, appeared to be a massive success, resulting a total market cap of approximately €15.5 billion, making it Europe’s largest IPO in 2020. We will have to wait and see to know whether DE’s third listing on the Amsterdam exchange will stand the test of time.