JAB to buy sandwich chain Pret A Manger from Bridgepoint

Pret A Manger sold to private equity firm JAB

Pret A Manger sold to private equity firm JAB

JAB Holding Co. agreed to buy sandwich chain Pret A Manger from private equity firm Bridgepoint Advisers Ltd., extending to the United Kingdom a portfolio of coffee and food businesses that includes Panera Bread Co. and Au Bon Pain. Tuesday said it would acquire Pret, as the chain is commonly known, from private equity owner Bridgepoint Advisers Ltd.

Pret A Manger - the UK-based sandwich shop chain - is to be sold to the German-controlled company behind Krispy Kreme doughnuts for £1.5bn.

It also gives a windfall to Pret's 12,000 staff as Chief Executive Clive Schlee said via Twitter they would each get a 1,000 pound bonus once the deal completes.

The acquisition of Pret is being made through an investment vehicle of Luxembourg-headquartered JAB Holding Company and JAB Consumer Fund, which is backed by like-minded long-term investors.

Bridgepoint, which bought Pret for £364m a decade ago, had been considering listing the firm in NY.

Pret, whose organic coffee and upmarket sandwiches such as crayfish and rocket proved popular enough to propel its growth from a single shop in London to a 530-strong global chain, generated revenue of 879 million pounds a year ago.

The Financial Times earlier reported that the price paid by JAB was £1.5 billion, including debt.

The deal follows nine years of like-for-like sales growth at Pret, which generates group revenues of £879m. And this year, JAB helped Keurig Green Mountain, which the conglomerate bought and combined with Mondelez's former coffee arm, move into soft drinks with an $18.7 billion deal for Dr Pepper Snapple.

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