Could Starbucks Acquire Peet's Coffee?

The buyout of Peet's from a German company has many wondering if Starbucks will offer a counter bid

Peet's Coffee made headlines last week when news broke that a German holding company, Joh. A Benckiser, would be taking over — for nearly $1 billion. But now rumors are swirilng that the world's coffee giant, Starbucks, might be sniffing around for an even bigger buyout.

Benckiser will acquire Peet's 190 coffee shops, as well as its grocery products, in the buyout. The shares Benckiser acquired sold at $73.50, reports Bloomberg; but because stock prices have continued to rise to about $75, some think a counter bid from Starbucks, or another company, is in the works.

One reason Starbucks may be interested: its gourmet coffee (like its Godiva coffee offerings), plus its unbeatable sales in grocery stores. Said one analyst, Nick Setyan, to Bloomberg, Peet's "is perceived actually as a more premium offering than Starbucks on the grocery shelf, and they have consistently been able to charge $1 more per 12-ounce bag on the grocery shelf... That is something that Starbucks covets."

Other companies that may also be interested in a buyout: JM Smucker Co., the maker of Folger's, and Kraft, the maker of Maxwell House.