Chicago: The investment firm for Austria’s billionaire Reimann family agreed to buy Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. for about $1.35 billion (Dh4.9 billion), adding the doughnut chain to a coffee empire that already includes Keurig Green Mountain and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.

The firm, JAB Holding Co., will pay Krispy Kreme investors $21 a share in cash, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company said in a statement on Monday. That represents a 25 per cent premium over the stock’s closing price on Friday.

The deal brings a sweet edge to JAB’s sprawling coffee enterprise. Krispy Kreme gained fame with its yeast-raised, glazed doughnuts, and only made a major push into java in recent years as its pastries fell out of favour. Closely held JAB has spent more than $30 billion in the past four years acquiring coffee companies in the US and Europe to challenge global leader Nestle SA.

JAB is buying Krispy Kreme through its JAB Beech subsidiary, which has BDT Capital Partners as a minority investor. After the transaction closes, Krispy Kreme will be privately owned.

Krispy Kreme shares rose 24 per cent to $20.85 at 8:49 am in early trading in New York. The stock already had risen 12 per cent this year through last week.

The deal is JAB’s second major coffee-related buyout announced in the past six months. The firm took single-serve coffee maker Keurig Green Mountain Inc. private in a $13.9 billion deal that was announced in December and closed in March.

JAB also owns controlling stakes of Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Espresso House and Baresso Coffee. Its holdings outside of food include Jimmy Choo shoes and Coty fragrances.