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    Peet's Coffee & Tea Reportedly in Talks to Sell Itself to Starbucks

    The specialty coffee retailer supplied Starbucks's beans in 1971.

    SEATTLE -- Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc. is currently in talks to sell itself to rival and former associate Starbucks, according to dealReporter.com.

    Peet's sells its packaged coffee and tea through grocery stores and a chain of shops based out of Emeryville, Calif. Its grocery business sales grew 24 percent in 2010. As of last January 3, it operated 192 stores in six states. In 1971 it starved as Starbucks's original supplier of coffee beans.

    Reports say that Starbucks plans to seek out acquisitions over the next 18 months . "Starbucks has reached a critical juncture as we move from a high unit growth specialty retailer focused on coffee in our stores, to a global consumer company with diversified growth platforms across multiple channels," Troy Alstead, Starbucks CFO, said last December.

    Though neither company has commented on the reported deal, Peet's has stated its interest in getting into the single-cup coffee market. Earlier this year it attempted to acquire Diedrich Coffee but lost out to Green Mountain Coffee, which made a deal this week to sell Starbucks coffee for its single-serving Keurig coffee machines.

     

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