Benckiser group to buy Dutch Masterblenders for 7.5bn euros

Dutch tea and coffee producer D.E. Masterblenders said Friday that it has reached a conditional agreement with a German investor group led by Johann A. Benckiser on a 7.5-billion-euro ($9.8-bn) takeover deal.

The companies "have reached conditional agreement on a recommended full public offer for D. E. Masterblenders of 12.50 euros per ordinary share," the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement.

"The intended offer values outstanding Masterblender shares at approximately 7.5 billion euros," Masterblenders added.

Sold by US food giant Sara Lee last year, Masterblenders said its board "fully supports and unanimously recommended the offer."

It said the JAB group intended to finance the offer through a combination of debt and equity.

JAB comprises a privately-owned affiliated group of companies and also owns a majority stake in the cosmetics company Coty and a minority holding in the health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser.

It first ventured into the tea and coffee sector last year with a purchase of the US-based Peet's Coffee & Tea and Caribou Coffee companies.