Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., Winston-Salem, NC, and JAB Beech Inc., a subsidiary of JAB Holding Co., announced on May 9 that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which JAB Beech will acquire Krispy Kreme for approximately $1.35 billion. The agreement was unanimously approved by Krispy Kreme’s board of directors.

At the close of the transaction, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2016, Krispy Kreme will be privately owned and continue to be independently operated from Krispy Kreme’s current headquarters in Winston-Salem. “For nearly 80 years, our iconic brand has been touching and enhancing lives through the joy that is Krispy Kreme,” says Jim Morgan, chairman of Krispy Kreme’s board of directors. “This transaction puts us in the best possible position to continue to spread that joy to a growing number of people around the world, while delivering significant value to Krispy Kreme shareholders. I am confident the JAB team is the right partner with whom to continue building upon our incredible legacy.”

Tony Thompson, CEO of Krispy Kreme, adds, “JAB’s experience and industry knowledge make them the ideal partner to help grow the iconic Krispy Kreme brand throughout the world. We remain focused on our long-term strategy and continuing to offer our premium, high-quality doughnuts and sweet treats to consumers around the world. We look forward to working with JAB to continue bringing the joy that is Krispy Kreme to a growing number of customers. Together with our talented team and our passionate franchisees, we will continue to build on the Krispy Kreme culture, values and commitment to our customers and guests.”

Peter Harf, Senior Partner at JAB, comments, “We are thrilled to have such an iconic brand as Krispy Kreme joining the JAB portfolio. This is yet another example of our commitment to investing in extraordinary brands with significant growth prospects. We feel strongly that Krispy Kreme will benefit greatly from our long-term focus and support for management’s vision in building on the legacy of this exciting brand as an independent standalone entity.”

JAB Holding Co. is a privately held group focused on long-term investments in companies in the consumer goods category. Its portfolio includes Keurig Green Mountain, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Coty Inc., Jimmy Choo, Bally and Belstaff. JAB also has controlling stakes in Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co., Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. and Espresso House.