The investment firm that owns Krispy Kreme, among other major companies, is purchasing Panera Bread Co. for $315 per share in cash and the assumption of $340 million in debt. The deal is valued at approximately $7.5 billion.
JAB Holding Co., which also owns Caribou Coffee, Einstein Noah, Espresso House, and Peet’s Coffee and Tea, would privately hold Panera if the deal is finalized in the third quarter of 2017 as planned.
“We have long admired Ron (Shaich) and the incredible success story he has created at Panera,” says Olivier Goudet, chief executive officer and a partner in JAB. “I have great respect for the strong business that he, together with his management team, its franchisees and its associates, has built. We strongly support Panera’s vision for the future, strategic initiatives, culture of innovation, and balanced company versus franchise store mix. We are excited to invest in and work together with the company’s management team and franchisees to continue to lead the industry.”
The Panera chain includes more than 2,000 locations, roughly $5 billion in sales, and more than 100,000 employees. The company had several alleged suitors after rumors circulated that it was for sale on April 3.
The merger has caused a spike in Panera's stock price. After closing at $274 a share yesterday, the stock soared to well over $300 in pre-market trading the morning of April 5.