While a number of large companies often buy up smaller firms without customers realizing it -- think Hershey's (HSY) ownership of Scharffen Berger Chocolate and Colgate-Palmolive's (CL) acquisition of Tom's of Maine -- that could be unlikely in this case, given the high-profile nature of the Starbucks-Peet's takeover rumors.
Pinheiro, who covers Peet's but not Starbucks, nevertheless attended the latter's analyst conference in New York last year, saying that he "was impressed by the enormous opportunity they have to deploy capital in China.... Why they would spend capital anywhere but on international growth at least for a year or two is beyond me."
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