Coffee giant JDE Peet’s took surprise pole position as Europe’s biggest initial public offering of the year on Friday, raising €2.3 billion ($2.5 billion) in Amsterdam in less than two weeks, and in the middle of a global pandemic, no less.
In a statement, the owner of Peet's Coffee and Krispy Kreme brands said it priced its shares at €31.50 a piece, in the upper half of the range of €30 to €32.35 at which the offering was marketed.
The offering price gives JDE Peet's a market value of €15.6 billion.
The IPO has raised eyebrows, not only for its success but for its shortened duration and unusual obstacles - namely the coronavirus pandemic that short-circuited typical rounds of in-person meetings, handshakes and coffee, of course.
Meetings with prospective investors, including funds run by billionaire George Soros, were all conducted virtually, according to Bloomberg.
Another more pragmatic reason for shortening the customary four-week listing process in Europe to 10 days: The company and its advisors wanted to minimize exposure to market swings and other factors that continue to impact global stocks.
Investor orders for the IPO exceeded the number of shares being sold by multiple times at the offer price, with strong demand from institutional investors globally, JDE Peet’s said in the statement.
JDE Peet’s sold 22.2 million new shares, raising €700 million in gross proceeds. Shareholders Mondelez International (MDLZ) - Get Report and Acorn Holdings, a company owned by JAB and other investors, sold existing shares for about €1.55 billion.