Panera Bought by Owner of Krispy Kreme for Nearly $7.5 Billion
Following rumors that Panera would soon be bought by a corporation, JAB Holding Company — a Luxembourg-based private equity firm and owner of Krispy Kreme, Peet’s Coffee, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Caribou Coffee — has announced that it has acquired the fast-casual brand for nearly $7.5 billion. As a result of the announcement, shares of Panera stock jumped 13.5 percent on Wednesday.
Savvy consumers will note that Panera now finds itself in a portfolio of strong (but smaller) breakfast brands, so there may now be a focus on Panera’s bakery and breakfast options over its soup, salad, and sandwiches menu.
"We believe this transaction with JAB offers the best way to continue to operate with this approach. 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 founder and CEO Ron Shaich told Forbes.
Olivier Goudet, JAB's CEO, implied in a statement to press that he and his team “fully support” the Panera “clean food” makeover that has completely revamped the brand over the past year and said he has “great respect” for the fast-casual restaurant that has built its reputation from the ground up.