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Caribou May Get Bid Topping Benckiser Offer, Gabelli Says

Gamco Investors Inc. head Mario Gabelli said Caribou Coffee Co. is undervalued at Joh. A. Benckiser Group’s offer price of $16 a share and may get a higher bid.

“We think it’s statistically undervalued even at $16,” Gabelli said today in an interview.

Caribou’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will increase about 15 percent to $35 million in 2013 from this year, Gabelli said.

Gamco disclosed today in a filing that it raised its stake in Caribou Coffee from 5.7 percent to 6.8 percent. It disclosed its 5.7 percent stake on Dec. 18, the day after Benckiser announced its plans to buy Caribou.

Benckiser, which bought Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc. in October, earlier this week agreed to purchase Minneapolis-based Caribou for about $340 million, adding to its coffee portfolio. The closely held company also recently increased its stake in D.E Master Blenders 1753 NV.

Caribou rose 0.4 percent to $16.05 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 15 percent this year.

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