JAB Holdings is the private investment company of the secretive German-born Reimann family. It has become one of the corporate world's most rapaciously acquisitive predators, vying for that title perhaps with the Brazilian group 3G Capital (controlling shareholders in AB InBev, Kraft Heinz, RBI and others), with whom it has until recently maintained close personal ties. JAB's original wealth was derived from Germany's Joh A Benckiser chemicals group which merged in 1997 with British consumer goods group Reckitt & Colman to form Reckitt Benckiser. That deal made the Reimann family, owners of Benckiser, very wealthy and JAB Holdings was established to manage those funds. It retains a modest holding in Reckitt Benckiser, but until recently its most valuable asset was the beauty group Coty. This has been surpassed in the past few years by an aggressive move first into coffee roasting and retailing - with Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Keurig Green Mountain and others - and then into food retail. Acquisitions have included US bagel chain Einstein Bros, the global Krispy Kreme donut business, US bakery and sandwich chains Panera Bread and Au Bon Coin, and UK-based Pret a Manger. In 2018, the group moved into soft drinks with the acquisition of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, subsequently merged with Keurig to form Keurig Dr Pepper. More recently, JAB has moved into petcare with investments in US vet clinics National Veterinary Associates and Compassion First. An earlier move into luxury proved less fruitful: acquired brands Jimmy Choo and Belstaff have been divested, and a buyer is being sought for shoe retailer Bally. JAB's combined assets were worth €25.1bn in June 2020. Siblings Wolfgang, Stefan, Renate and Matthias Reimann are the ultimate owners of JAB through family umbrella Agnaten SE, located in Vienna. Five further siblings cashed out their shares in JAB in the late 1990s and early 2000s. All nine were the natural or adopted children of Albert Reimann, the former owner of Joh A Benckiser, who died in 1984 dividing his wealth equally among his heirs. JAB itself is run by professional managers. Until early 2019, Bart Becht was chairman of JAB Holding Company, and joint senior partner alongside Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet. Becht retired unexpectedly in Jan 2019, also surrendering his role of chairman at both Keurig Dr Pepper and Coty. Harf and Goudet remain joint managing partners of JAB on behalf of the Reimann family. Both men previously served at different times as chairman of AB InBev, which is separately controlled by Brazilian investor 3G Capital, and Harf was previously a board member of 3G-owned Burger King.
Capsule checked 18th December 2020
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Adbrands Daily Update 1st Jun 2021: JAB Holdings filed papers for an IPO of global donut business Krispy Kreme. The company also owns direct-to-consumer warm cookie franchise Insomnia Cookies. JAB disclosed record sales for Krispy Kreme last year of $1.1bn, double the sum the business generated when it was acquired by JAB in 2016. However, net losses have also increased significantly, almost doubling last year alone to $64m. Distribution is via a chain of wholly owned and franchised shops as well as third-party retailers. The number of sales outlets jumped by more than a third in 2020, and topped 9,000 worldwide earlier this year. JAB has not disclosed what percentage of equity it will float, nor yet what valuation its is seeking. JAB paid $1.35bn for Krispy Kreme in 2016.
Marketer Moves 26th April 2021: New global chief digital officer at JAB Holdings. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 26th Feb 2019: JAB Holdings took an unexpected step in a new direction with the acquisition of a controlling stake in Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, a chain of around 40 pet care facilities in the US. JAB has yet to confirm the size of its stake or the price paid but said the deal valued Compassion-First at $1.2bn. Founder John Payne will remain a significant minority shareholder as well as CEO. The deal puts JAB into direct competition with Mars, who have expanded their well-established existing pet food interests with the purchase of a succession of veterinary franchises and pet hospitals.
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Jan 2019: Bart Becht announced his unexpected and immediate retirement not just as chairman of JAB but also from the same position at Keurig Dr Pepper. He had already retired from Coty at the end of last year. In an official filing, Coty reassured investors that Becht's departure was "not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to operations, policies or practices". No other explanation was given. Becht, 62 this year, said only, "After almost 40 years in the branded consumer business, I have decided it is time to refocus my activities and retire." He will not be directly replaced, reducing the triumvirate of senior partners to a duo. However, the group also announced the appointment of three new executives as junior partners: Fabien Simon as CFO, Ricardo Rittes to lead further expansion into emerging markets and Jacek Szarzynski as operating partner for Pret Panera Holdings.
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st May 2018: The latest jewel in the collection of rapacious private investor JAB Holdings is upmarket British sandwich chain Pret a Manger, acquired for more than £1.5bn, just under twice annual revenues. Pret has been majority owned since 2008 by private equity firm Bridgepoint, which acquired the minority stake that year that previously been held by global giant McDonald's as well as shares from founders Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham. Revenues have more than tripled since then, topping £800m last year. Management and a staff fund had retained holding, so the new deal will handsomely reward several top executives while all staff on the Pret payroll when the deal completes - around 12,000 people - will receive a £1,000 payout. Pret currently has around 500 outlets, mostly in the UK, but also 92 stores in the US as well as a few other markets. It joins a rapidly growing collection of businesses under JAB's ownership, most of which have links to coffee. Earlier this year, JAB agreed to acquire Panera Bread and Au Bon Coin, two US chains with a broadly similar profile to Pret. Currently the biggest business in JAB's directly controlled portfolio is global coffee roaster and marketer Jacobs Douwe Egberts. However it recently agreed to acquire soft drinks group Dr Pepper Snapple, which will be merged with Keurig Green Mountain, the maker of the top-selling US personal home coffee maker, which it already owns. Other acquisitions have included Krispy Kreme, Peet's and Caribou Coffee.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Nov 2017: The super-acquisitive investment group JAB Holdings added to its portfolio with the purchase of US bakery chain Au Bon Coin for an undisclosed sum. The deal will reunite Au Bon Coin with its former sister chain Panera Bread, which JAB acquired earlier this year. This particular deal wasn't quite what market-watchers had been expecting. There had been widespread speculation that JAB was on the verge of announcing the purchase of Dunkin' Donuts. The privately owned group already controls a collection of other cafe and bakery chains including Krispy Kreme, Peet's and Caribou Coffee, as well of course as coffee roasting giant Jacobs Douwe Egberts and Keurig coffeemakers. Following completion of the Au Bon Coin purchase, Panera president Blaine Hurst will move up to CEO, taking over from Au Bon Coin's founder and current Panera CEO Ron Shaich.
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