Let’s raise a glass to Massachusetts’ newest publicly traded consumer products giant: Keurig Dr Pepper.
The company has been technically based in Vermont, and the soda business, located in Texas. But make no mistake about it: The shots will be called out of Burlington.
German conglomerate JAB Holding gobbled up plenty of food and beverage companies recently, most notably spending $13.9 billion on Keurig Green Mountain, taking it private in 2016. Other recent additions to JAB’s pantry include Panera, Au Pon Bain, Krispy Kreme, and Bruegger’s. There was speculation that Dunkin’ Donuts could be next.
It turns out Keurig, led by food industry deal-maker Bob Gamgort, went after Dr Pepper Snapple instead. The combination, unveiled last week, creates a hot-and-cold beverage behemoth with $11 billion in annual sales. Plus, it turns Keurig into a public company again, with Dr Pepper shareholders getting a 13 percent stake and JAB keeping the rest.
Gamgort works out of Keurig’s Burlington campus, not the Waterbury, Vt., office that remains from the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters days. A significant portion of Gamgort’s leadership team is in Burlington, too, including his CFO.
The Dr Pepper merger is a big enough deal to prompt even an ambitious buyer to pause, to avoid indigestion. Dunkin’ Brands shares took a tumble, presumably as some investors gave up on a quick sale. But Gamgort hinted to investors last week that Keurig and JAB aren’t done.
The first priority, of course, is ensuring a smooth merger takes place. But Gamgort made it clear that the publicly traded shares will broaden Keurig’s toolkit to make more deals, sounding very much like an executive who expects to be hungry again.Jon Chesto can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @jonchesto.