Pret A Manger – the UK-based sandwich shop chain – is to be sold to the German-controlled company behind Krispy Kreme doughnuts for £1.5bn.
Private equity firm Bridgepoint has agreed to sell a majority stake in Pret to JAB Holdings, the investment vehicle of Germany’s wealthy Reimann family.
All 12,000 workers will receive a £1,000 windfall on completion of the sale, which is expected to take place in the summer.
Bridgepoint, which bought Pret for £364m a decade ago, had been considering listing the firm in New York.
Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said: “This is a day of celebration at Pret.
“This agreement recognises the hard work of all our amazing teams around the world. Bridgepoint has been wonderful owners of the business for more than a decade.
“All of us at Pret believe JAB will be excellent long-term strategic owners. JAB believes in Pret’s values and supports our growth plans.”
Olivier Goudet, JAB partner and chief executive, said: “We’re very excited to partner with Pret and its talented team to continue their extraordinary growth story.
“Management’s proven track record and commitment to customer service, investment in innovation and approach to freshly prepared food position Pret well as it capitalises on evolving consumer taste and lifestyle preferences.
“We look forward to working with Clive Schlee and his management team, while promoting the Pret brand and supporting Pret’s impressive culture for the next phase in the company’s growth with JAB.”
Pret – which opened its first outlet in London in 1986 – has 530 stores worldwide and is rapidly expanding globally in countries such as the US, China and France.
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It generated revenues of £879m last year.
Luxembourg-based JAB is also behind Kenco coffee and Dr Pepper.