Panera Bread, JAB announce definitive merger agreement - KMOV.com

Panera Bread, JAB announce definitive merger agreement

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In this March 8, 2010 file photo, Krista Johnson passes an order to a customer at a Panera store in Brookline, Mass. Panera (Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa,File) In this March 8, 2010 file photo, Krista Johnson passes an order to a customer at a Panera store in Brookline, Mass. Panera (Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa,File)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com / AP) – Panera Bread Company and Europe's JAB Holding Co. have entered into a definitive merger agreement, according to a press release sent Wednesday.

Under the agreement, JAB will acquire Panera for $315 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at around $7.5 billion, including the assumption of roughly $340 million of net debt.

Ron Shaich, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Panera, commented, “By any measure, Panera has been one of the most successful restaurant companies in history. 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. In more than 25 years as a publicly traded company, Panera has created significant shareholder value. Indeed, Panera has been the best performing restaurant stock of the past 20 years – up over 8,000%. Today’s transaction is a direct reflection of those efforts, and delivers substantial additional value for our shareholders.”

In 1993, Au Bon Pain Co., Inc., Panera's original name, purchased St. Louis Bread Company, according to the company's website

JAB is better known for the growing stable of brands it owns, including a controlling stake in Peet's Coffee & Tea, most of Caribou Coffee Co., Stumptown Coffee and Keurig Green Mountain.

“We have long admired Ron and the incredible success story he has created at Panera. 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,” said Olivier Goudet, JAB Partner and CEO.

The agreement was unanimously approved by Panera’s Board of Directors.

Panera is based in St. Louis.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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