Coffee maker JDE Peet's shares pop 15% after $17 billion virtual IPO

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Shares in coffee maker JDE Peet’s surged 15% in their stock market debut on Friday as investors jumped on the only big European IPO launched during the coronavirus crisis.

Shares in the world’s No. 2 maker of packaged coffee, whose brands include Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee and Jacobs, were priced at 31.50 euros, valuing the firm at 15.6 billion euros ($17.3 billion). They were trading at 36.36 euros by 1231 GMT.

“We are thrilled to price this offer on Euronext Amsterdam during this extraordinary time,” said CEO Casey Keller, who watched the opening via a remote video link.

JDE Peet’s, which competes against larger rival Nestle and to a lesser extent Starbucks, also owns the Pickwick, Senseo, Tassimo, TiOra and L’OR brands. It had revenue of 6.9 billion euros in 2019, with the bulk of its products sold via supermarkets and to businesses.

It also operates several retail chain stores including well-known U.S. brand Peet’s. Net profit in 2019 was 585 million euros.

The company’s decision to seek a stock market listing despite the coronavirus outbreak was striking, but it has proved a winning bet.

According to Refinitiv data, European listings raised $918 million in the first quarter of 2020, but the pipeline came to a halt in March.

JDE argued in its prospectus, published just two days ago,, that demand for coffee has remained resilient. With 76% of its products sold via supermarkets, it forecast sales growth for the first half of 2019.

A person familiar with the company’s IPO process said company executives and bankers skipped physical meetings and spoke to prospective investors via video Q&A sessions.

High demand — including a cornerstone investment from George Soros’s Quantum Partners — meant that the company saw a chance to finish its floatation ahead of the originally scheduled June 3, and took it.

JDE Peet’s raised 700 million euros through the sale of new shares in the IPO, which it plans to use to pay down debt. Existing shareholders Acorn, controlled by German investor JAB Holding, and Mondelez, sold an additional 1.55 billion euros worth of stock, for a total of 2.25 billion euros. That represents a 16.5% stake in the company.

JAB continues to control JDE Peet’s via Acorn, which will have a 62% stake. Mondelez will hold 23.4%. JPMorgan, BNP Paribas, and Goldman Sachs acted as joint global coordinators on the deal.

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Insurance comparison firm SelectQuote looks to raise $342 million in IPO

(Reuters) – SelectQuote Inc said on Friday it was looking to raise about $342 million in an initial public offering that could value the owner of the eponymous insurance policy comparison website at more than $3 billion.

The company will offer about 18 million shares at between $17 and $19 per share, with selling stockholders offering another 7 million shares, taking the overall amount expected to be raised to about $475 million.

Overland Park, Kansas-based SelectQuote allows consumers to compare insurance policies for life, auto and home insurance from providers including American International Group (AIG.N), Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N) and Liberty Mutual.

While using websites to compare and buy insurance products is commonplace around the world, the U.S. insurance industry has been slower to embrace technology as means of bypassing traditional insurance brokers.

SelectQuote’s IPO filing comes as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lower rates for many insurance lines, giving policyholders the opportunity to switch insurers at their next renewal.

For the year 2019, SelectQuote’s net income more than doubled to $72.6 million from a year earlier. In the same period, its revenue jumped 44% to $337.5 million. (bit.ly/360XxwZ)

Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Global Markets Inc and Barclays were among the lead underwriters for the offering.

Entities Associated with Brookside Equity Partners owned around 22% of the company before the offering, SelectQuote said in a filing.

SelectQuote was founded in 1985 by Charan Singh, who currently serves as its chairman. Tim Danker has been chief executive officer of SelectQuote since 2017, according to the company’s website.

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