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JAB to Acquire Panera Bread Company

Parent of Caribou and Krispy Kreme buys 2,000-plus unit fast-casual concept.


JAB Holdings has reached an agreement to acquire Panera Bread in a deal worth approximately $7.5 billion, including the assumption of approximately $340 million of net debt. The transaction is not subject to a financing condition and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017, subject to the approval of Panera shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals, according to a release announcing the transaction.

The announcement of the deal comes after several days of speculation that the fast-casual concept might be in play and coincides with the company releasing its first quarter financial results, which saw company owned same-store sales increase 5.3 percent.

“What started as one 400 square foot cookie store in Boston has grown to a system with over 2,000 units, approximately $5 billion in sales, and over 100,000 associates,” said Ron Shaich, founder, chairman and CEO of Panera. “Over the last five years, we have developed and executed a powerful strategic plan to be a better competitive alternative with emerging runways for growth. The themes we have bet on — digital, wellness, loyalty, omni-channel, new formats for growth — are shaping the restaurant industry today.”

JAB Holding Company has controlling stakes in such restaurant concepts as Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Company, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Espresso House, a large coffee shop concept in Scandinavia.