Dutch tea and coffee producer D.E. Masterblenders said Friday that it has reached a conditional agreement with a German investor group led by Johann A. Benckiser on a 7.5-billion-euro ($9.8-bn) takeover deal aimed at creating one of the world\'s leading hot drinks companies. The companies \"have reached conditional agreement on a recommended full public offer for D. E. Masterblenders of 12.50 euros per ordinary share,\" the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement. \"The intended offer values outstanding Masterblender shares at approximately 7.5 billion euros,\" Masterblenders added. Sold by US food giant Sara Lee last year, Masterblenders said its board \"fully supports and unanimously recommended the offer.\" It said the JAB group intended to finance the offer through a combination of debt and equity. Masterblenders\'s share price on Friday morning dipped slightly by 0.12 percent on the Amsterdam stock exchange\'s AEX index, where the company has been listed since mid-2012. When the iconic Dutch coffee brand last month announced a deal with JAB was in the pipeline, its shares surged by more than 27 percent to more than 12 euros. At the time of the initial March 28 offer, the deal valued Masterblenders at 12.75 euros a share, which has now been slightly reduced. \"Today\'s announcement means that a large investor group wants to completely focus on the coffee and tea market and wants to use Masterblenders to achieve that aim,\" its spokesman Michiel Quarles van Ufford told AFP. It \"confirms the value that has been achieved to date and the high potential platform we have built for the future,\" Masterblenders interim chief executive Jan Bennink added in the statement. Masterblenders, the second-biggest hot drinks group worldwide after Nestle, will be \"central to the creation of one of the world\'s leading coffee and tea companies,\" Bennink added. The deal is expected to be finalised by July and is subject to the usual terms and conditions. JAB comprises a privately-owned affiliated group of companies and also owns a majority stake in the cosmetics company Coty and a minority holding in the health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser. JAB also owns Labelux, a luxury leather goods company with well-known brands such as Jimmy Choo, Bally and Belstaff. It first ventured into the tea and coffee sector last year with a purchase of the US-based Peet\'s Coffee & Tea and Caribou Coffee companies. Masterblenders sells its products in more than 45 countries and employs 7,500 people worldwide. It trades in brands including Douwe Egberts coffee, Senseo and Pickwick tea.