Panera sold to JAB Holding in $7.5 billion deal

JAB Holding Co., the owner of Caribou Coffee and Peet’s Coffee & Tea, said on Wednesday it would buy Sunset Hills-based Panera Bread Co. in a deal valued at about $7.5 billion, including debt, as it expands its coffee and breakfast empire.

Luxembourg-based JAB offered $315 in cash per Panera share, representing a 20.3 percent premium to the stock’s closing price on March 31, the last trading day before media reports of a potential deal.

Panera shares had risen about 4.6 percent from March 31 through Tuesday’s close of $274. The stock jumped nearly another 13 percent to $309.49 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

JAB, the investment vehicle of Germany’s billionaire Reimann family, has snapped up several U.S.-based breakfast and coffee companies in recent years, including Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and K-cup coffee pod-maker Keurig Green Mountain Inc.

The deal includes the assumption of about $340 million of net debt, JAB and Panera said in a joint statement.

Panera founder and Chief Executive Ron Shaich and entities affiliated have agreed to vote shares representing about 15.5 percent of the company’s voting power in favor of the deal.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bloomberg

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