- The billionaire Reimann family, which owns JAB Holding Company, says it’s donating more than $11 million to charity after uncovering the extent of its ancestors’ Nazi activity.
- JAB Holding owns brands including Keurig, Panera, Krispy Kreme, and Pret a Manger.
- The company has become a massive player in the coffee, snack, and sandwich industry over the last decade.
The family behind the company that owns Krispy Kreme, Caribou Coffee, and Panera Bread is donating more than $11 million in attempts to atone for its ancestors’ Nazi past.
JAB Holding, the investment arm of the secretive Reimann family, acquired Krispy Kreme for roughly $1.35 billion in 2016. Since then, JAB has acquired brands including Panera, Au Bon Pain, and Pret A Manger.
According to The Associated Press, Bild, Germany’s largest newspaper, reported on Sunday that it had uncovered documents that revealed Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. were supporters of the Nazi party and that during World War II they used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced laborers.
“There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting,” Peter Harf, a representative for the family, told Bild, according to the AP. A JAB representative told Business Insider that the donation was decided in late January, before the Bild report, and that the family did not have any further comment.
When Albert Reimann Sr. was in control of JAB, the company was focused on industrial chemicals. In recent years, however, the holding company has acquired some of the biggest names in food and beverage.
Here’s the story of the firm.
JAB acquired Peet’s Coffee and Tea in 2012.
- REUTERS/Kimberly White
JAB Holding acquired Peet’s back in 2012 for about $1 billion.
It then did a deal for Caribou Coffee.
JAB also runs Caribou Coffee Co., which it acquired in 2013 for $340 million. Caribou Coffee is based in Minnesota.
Next up was D.E Master Blenders 1753.
- D.E Master Blenders
JAB struck a deal in 2013 to buy D.E. Master Blenders 1753, which had been spun out of Sara Lee Corp. a year earlier, for $9.8 billion.
Then it struck a big deal in 2014 to create Jacobs Douwe Egberts, which owns brands including Kenco, Tassimo, Senseo, and Moccona.
- Jacobs Douwe Egberts
The biggest brand under JAB’s umbrella is Jacobs Douwe Egberts, the world’s biggest coffee company, which has revenues totaling more than 5 billion euros. That entity was formed as a result of a merger between another JAB brand and Mondelez International coffee products, which closed earlier this year. Mondelez maintains a 44% stake in the combined company.
JAB Holding bought Einstein Bros.’ parent company in 2014.
- Yelp/Steve F.
JAB also bought Einstein Noah, a Colorado-based bagel company, in a $370 million deal. Einstein Noah was founded in 1995 and was operating more than 850 US stores at the time of the sale.
It also acquired the leading Nordic coffee retailer.
- Espresso House
JAB reached a deal worth more than $300 million to buy Espresso House, the leading coffee chain in Sweden and Norway, in 2015.
JAB-owned Peet’s Coffee and Tea has gone on a buying spree.
- Wikimedia Commons
JAB’s holdings don’t stop there, either.
JAB also has investments in top European brands, including Marcilla Professional, Pickwick, and Friele, to name a few. The company also owns the leading makers of high-end brewing products.
In 2015, news broke that JAB was planning to acquire Keurig.
- Hollis Johnson
That December, JAB announced plans to buy Keurig for about $13.9 billion.
It added Krispy Kreme to the mix in 2016.
- Krispy Kreme
JAB and its partners spent about $1.35 billion to buy Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Panera was a big-name purchase.
- Facebook/Panera Bread
Panera’s then-CEO, Ron Shaich, said the acquisition – announced in 2017 – allowed Panera to focus more on long-term success as opposed to short-term sales.
Panera then acquired its sandwich rival Au Bon Pain.
- Hollis Johnson
The two brands have strikingly similar menus, selling sandwiches, salads, soups, and coffee with an emphasis on nutrition that many fast-food competitors do not have.
Shaich told Business Insider it was “too early” to say how the acquisition would affect Au Bon Pain locations. It is unclear whether the brands will remain separate or whether Au Bon Pain locations will adopt aspects of Panera’s brand – or even be revamped as Panera locations.
In May, JAB agreed to a deal to buy Pret A Manger.
- Jack Taylor/Getty
Pret has been rapidly building out its international presence, opening locations in the US, Hong Kong and China, and France, adding to its already strong presence in the UK.
“Management’s proven track record and commitment to customer service, investment in innovation and approach to freshly prepared food position Pret well as it capitalizes on evolving customer taste and lifestyle preferences,” Olivier Goudet, JAB’s CEO, said in a statement.
Insomnia Cookies joined the empire thanks to a deal with Krispy Kreme.
- Insomnia Cookies
The terms of the deal were not announced, though a source told CNBC that the then-unannounced deal would value Insomnia Cookies at less than $500 million.
“At Krispy Kreme, we have an 81-year heritage of creating the most awesome doughnut experience imaginable, and today we are delighted to add Insomnia Cookies, a rapidly growing business with an innovative delivery experience and exceptional product that is beloved by consumers,” Mike Tattersfield, Krispy Kreme’s CEO, said in a statement.
Core is one of the latest beverage brands to come under JAB’s control.
Core is best known for its bottled water brand, Core Hydration, and fruit hydration brand, Core Organic.
Frank Chaparro, Jonathan Marino, and Rachel Butt contributed to earlier versions of this post.