Green Mountain Coffee deals signal global expansion


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has announced new business deals with soft drink giant Coca-Cola and doughnut icon Krispy Kreme.

Both deals hinge on GMCR's Keurig brewing system, which the company acquired in 2006. International expansion is part of GMCR's strategic growth plan, according to an investor presentation from 2013.

The Waterbury-based company's stock price spiked when a $1.25 billion deal with Coke was announced Feb. 5, from a little over $80 per share to more than $110 per share. Coke's stock also jumped a bit after the announcement, from $37.61 per share to $38.77 per share. Krispy Kreme is still struggling to recover from a sharp drop in December, when prices fell from more than $27 to around $18.

Coke will acquire a 10 percent ownership stake in GMCR for $1.25 billion. The sale signifies the start of a decade-long strategic partnership to develop and sell a cold-beverage version of the coffee roaster's single-serve "K-Cup" brewing system.

Coke's common stock purchase of GMCR shares reflects a long-term alignment of interests. The new cold-beverage Keurig system will be a Coca-Cola brand, and GMCR will be the exclusive partner for its production and sales.

The Keurig Cold beverage system, still under development, may be on shelves in late 2015 or 2016. The new product will dispense single-serve cold beverages, including carbonated drinks, enhanced waters, juice drinks, sports drinks and tea, according to a news release.

The partnership awaits regulatory approval, but the companies expect to seal the deal by March. If approved, Coke will take control of 16,684,139 newly issued shares in GMCR, priced at $74.98.

Krispy Kreme coffee will be available in K-cups by the end of 2014. They will be sold in some Krispy Kreme shops, grocery stores and retail shops throughout the country. Krispy Kreme is headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., with more than 800 retail outlets in 20 countries.


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