Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is trading up handily on word that the company has named Brian Kelley to replace Lawrence Blanford as CEO. Kelley is 51 years old and was an executive at The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) where he was the chief product supply officer for Coca Cola Refreshments in North America.
While many investors are hoping that Green Mountain can now have a true product guy running the show, we cannot help but ask something different in strategy. Is Brian Kelley the man who will secure a buyout for Green Mountain Coffee shareholders?
We recently covered The Next Mergers of 2012 in an article about speculative and prior rumored merger possibilities. While Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) was one possibility, it is possible (or probably) that antitrust issues would arise. Besides that, Starbucks is now buying Teavana (NYSE: TEA). That leaves McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD). There had been buyout rumors before, so this should be more than a fair question about whether or not Kelley is really aiming to get the company sold.
Green Mountain shares were up more than 10% earlier and shares are currently up about 7% at $29.20. Its market cap is $4.5 billion and the 52-week range is $17.11 to $71.15.
JON C. OGG