In Coronavirus vs. Caffeine, Peet's Coffee European IPO Wins

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Pandemic be damned, people still want their coffee - and investors still want their coffee-focused initial public offerings, apparently. 

Coffee giant JDE Peet’s became Europe’s biggest IPO of 2020 on Friday after raising €2.3 billion ($2.5 billion) in a shortened - and virtual - roadshow. 

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 proved notable for investors 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. It could not be determined whether participants sipped coffee or other beverages during the meetings.

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.

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