Swiss-based food giant Nestle will pay Starbucks $7.15 billion in cash for the rights to sell the U.S. coffee chain's products around the world in a global alliance aimed at reinvigorating their coffee empires.
The deal on Monday for a business with $2 billion in sales reinforces Nestle's position as the world's biggest coffee company tries to fortify its place atop a fast-changing market.
Seattle-based Starbucks said it will use proceeds to speed-up share buybacks and the deal would add to earnings per share by 2021 at the latest.
Nestle said it expects the deal to sell Starbucks bagged coffee and drinks adding to earnings by 2019. It will not involve any of Starbucks' cafes.
Nestle and Starbucks are joining forces in a highly fragmented consumer drinks category that has seen a string of deals lately.
JAB Holdings, the private investment firm of Europe's billionaire Reimann family, has fueled the consolidation wave with a series of deals including Douwe Egberts, Peet's Coffee & Tea and Keurig Green Mountain, narrowing the gap with Nestle.
"This global coffee alliance will bring the Starbucks experience to the homes of millions more around the world through the reach and reputation of Nestle," said Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson.