Perspectives from ISB

Adam Benckiser had started a namesake chemical company in 1823. He was succeeded by his son-in-law Ludwig Reimann. Albert Reimann Jr., the great grandson of Ludwig took the reins of the company after his father died in 1952. Upon Albert’s death in 1984, Wolfgang Reimann and eight other heirs each inherited 11.1% of JAB Holding Company (JAB). Five of them subsequently divested their stakes, leaving Wolfgang and three of his siblings sharing a 95% interest in the Luxembourg-based investment company, JAB, which manages investments for Europe’s secretive Reimann family.

Since the death of Albert none of the family members have ever worked for the business or had any role in its operations. The lack of involvement is allegedly part of the family policy, which also includes signing a codex on one’s 18th birthday pledging to stay out of the public as much as possible, thus making them one of the most private billionaire families.

Late last year, JAB spent $13.9bn to add Keurig Green Mountain, the biggest group in the US single-serve coffee market, to its growing list of coffee investments. Over the last three years, JAB has spent a total of $30bn to acquire controlling stakes in Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Espresso House and Baresso Coffee. With these acquisitions JAB is fast emerging as a challenger to Nestlé’s dominant Nespresso brand. Recently JAB has agreed to acquire Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. The deal is worth $1.35 billion, or $21 a share. The other brands associated with Wolfgang Reimann’s multi-billion-dollar fortune include Calvin Klein fragrances, Durex condoms, Jimmy Choo shoes, and Noah’s bagels. 

Source: Bloomberg, May 9, 2016