Investment firm JAB Holding Company just scored big with their acquisition of worldwide chain Panera Bread in a deal worth more than $7.5 billion.
The European consumer products powerhouse already owns Krispy Kreme, Keurig, Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, and Einstein Bros. Bagels as part of their food division. This acquisition will make Panera Bread a private company.
Panera Bread quickly became known as the go-to spot for high-quality ingredients, free WiFi for their customers, and numerous healthy options. They were also one of the first to introduce digital ordering as an option.
Online ordering is about 24% of sales at company-owned locations, ,according to managing director and senior research analyst Bob Derrington of the Telsey Advisory Group.
“It’s a great fit,” says Derrington. “The technology piece that Panera essentially brings to to them [JAB] is the crown jewel that really benefits the business.”
Looking to the Future
According to JAB’s team, Panera Bread will continue to operate under the guidance of its current leadership team.
“We strongly support Panera’s vision for the future, strategic initiatives, culture of innovation, and balanced company versus franchised store mix,” said Olivier Goudet, CEO and JAB partner. “We are excited to invest in and work together with the company’s management team and franchisees to continue to lead the industry.”
Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich says of the acquisition, “We are pleased to join with JAB, a private investor with an equally long-term perspective, as well as a deep commitment to our strategic plan.”
Panera Bread has more than 2,000 locations and roughly $5 billion in annual sales. JAB will pay $315 per share and assume $340 million in debt. As of the announcement, Panera Bread jumped 13.9% in pre-market trading to $311.94, according to USA Today. The deal is should close in the third quarter.
This is just another coup for the company, as their portfolio contains a number of additional brands, including Coty, Bally, and Jimmy Choo.