JAB to merge Panera Bread into new unit

JAB to merge Panera Bread into new unit

NEW YORK - JAB Holding Co is carving Panera Bread into a new unit that will also include Caribou coffee, Einstein Bros Bagels and other brands to help the chains expand as they emerge from the COVID - 19 pandemic, Panera Chief Executive Officer Niren Chaudhary told Reuters.

The new group, known as Panera Brands in three countries, will have approximately 4,000 locations in 10 countries.

The new structure, which Panera will announce later on Thursday, is the kind of maneuver companies sometimes make ahead of a deal like an initial public offering or sale.

Chaudhary, who will lead the new group while retaining his position at Panera Bread, declined to comment on an IPO or sale but said that we are always exploring opportunities.

JAB is a $120 billion family-owned private equity firm that also owns large stake in the Keurig Dr. Pepper company and beauty company Coty Inc.

In June, Krispy Kreme went public with its doughnut business spun off to a valuation of $2.7 billion.

In May 2020, its Peet's Coffee chain IPO in Italy was worth 2.25 billion euros.

All the Panera Brand companies bragged about their respective brands, teams and business models in an interview after the pandemic. We can collectively leverage the runway of growth.

Each company will remain independent and retain its own CEO, app and loyalty program. They also plan to collaborate on menu and beverage development, analytics, suppliers and other areas, Chaudhary said.

I can propel the brands faster because of infrastructure we have, he said.

The group plans to open new cafes and so-called ghost kitchens for delivery only, to open locations in new countries and explore consumer packaged goods.