Panera’s Hard Work Pays Off!

Panera Bakery, the 2,000+ unit chain, just sold to JAB Holdings.  Earlier this week, there was rumor and speculation rippling through the news about a possible sale, but nothing concrete was reported.  Now, though, it is official; JAB purchased Panera for $7.5 billion.

JAB Holding Company is the German investment fund that has, over the past few years, purchased a range of coffee and bakery-focused concepts including Krispy Kreme, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Noah, Peet’s Coffee, Stumptown Coffee, and Intelligentsia Coffee.

Panera Bread was founded in 1987 by Ken Rosenthal in St. Louis and has grown to over $5B in annual sales, primarily under the leadership of CEO Ron Shaich.  Asked about the sale, Shaich said “We weren’t looking for this. Panera’s on an extraordinary run. That performance has been because we always operated in the context of long-term strategy.” Meanwhile, JAB’s chief executive, Olivier Goudet, echoed the same: “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 its 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.”

To read more, click here and here.

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