Keurig Green Mountain, the single cup coffee brewing phenomenon, had been in a financial slump this year, its stock falling nearly 60 percent before the announcement that the company was being bought. Keurig — whose own inventor disavowed it because of its detrimental impact on the environment — had been getting hammered in part because its non-recyclable coffee pods are a major source of pollution. A movement among environmentalists, centered at Kill the K-Cup, seemed to be changing public consciousness about the company and making the business unattractive.
Turns out that environmental movement and backlash weren’t enough to dissuade JAB Group, which will acquire Keurig for $92 a share, nearly 80 percent more than the stock was trading for on Friday. JAB Group certainly did extensive due diligence before making its offer. What it found out during discovery — knowable only to the extent that it offered such a high price — is that the coffee maker is a highly desirable enterprise despite being the cause of such large and publicly acknowledged environmental waste. The Keurig sale is a blow to the common contemporary wisdom that holds that an educated public will choose options that are better for the planet.