Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Consolidates Ownership With U.K. Buy

  • Reimann family’s JAB brings doughnut brand under one roof
  • Sale by private equity firm Alcuin follows scrapped U.K. IPO

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. agreed to buy the brand’s U.K. business from its private-equity owner, consolidating ownership on both sides of the Atlantic.

Closely held Krispy Kreme will make the purchase from private-equity firm Alcuin Capital Partners LLP, which canceled a planned initial public offering of shares in the British doughnut baker. The companies didn’t disclose the price in a statement Tuesday, but a person familiar with the matter said it was in the same range as the scrapped IPO, which was set to value the business at 187 million pounds ($238 million) to 212 million pounds.

The deal consolidates the doughnut brand’s operations after JAB Holding Co., an investment vehicle of the Vienna-based Reimann family, acquired the U.S. operations earlier this year. JAB has built a portfolio that includes Keurig Green Mountain, Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and other breakfast and fast-food brands.

The acquisition will help JAB “tidy up” its portfolio, while strengthening its position as one of the three big companies in the global coffee industry alongside Starbucks Corp. and Nestle SA, said Jeffrey Young, chief executive officer of researcher Allegra Group.

“You don’t have a separate firm in the U.K. doing things that might not be in line with the global brand,” Young said.

Krispy Kreme opened its first British store in London’s Harrods department store in 2003 and the U.K. business has been controlled by Alcuin since 2011. It will seek future growth by opening new stores and adding self-service cabinets in other shops, the companies said. They said they expect to complete the transaction this month.

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