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JAB Holdings creates ‘unrivalled fast casual platform’ Panera Brands

Luxembourg-based private equity firm creates new business group comprising the Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels businesses, a move that could pave the way for its latest IPO

A Panera Bread store in Philadelphia, USA | Photo credit: Via Shutterstock



JAB Holdings has created a new business unit comprising US coffee chains Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels.
 
Panera Brands will collectively operate nearly 4,000 stores and employ around 110,000 staff across 11 countries. World Coffee Portal understands each company will remain independent, but will collaborate on menu and beverage development, data analytics and supply chains.
 
Panera Bread is the largest brand in group, with 2,100 bakery cafés, followed by Einstein Bros. Bagels, which operates 1,005 stores across the Bruegger's Bagels, Noah's New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel brands in the US. Caribou Coffee operates 713 coffee shops in 10 countries.
 
Panera Bread CEO Niren Chaudhary will lead Panera Brands as CEO, with José Alberto Dueñas, CEO, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and John Butcher, CEO, Caribou Coffee, reporting to Chaudhary. All will continue as CEOs of their respective companies.
 
The new group will be ‘anchored in Panera Bread’s distinctive competencies including its broad omnichannel retail network, strong digital infrastructure, industry leading loyalty program, robust food innovation pipeline’, according to press release.
 
Panera Bread has gained significant expertise in digital transactions as it adapts to Covid-19 disruption to brick-and-mortar store sales. In April 2021, the business’ CEO Niren Chaudhary revealed the proportion of customers opting for takeaway or delivery had risen from 40% pre-pandemic to 85%, with delivery growth at 150%. Forty-five percent of the company’s sales now come from e-commerce channels, the company reports.
 
“We believe Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels together will leverage each company’s unique expertise and services to build an unrivaled fast casual platform with a tremendous runway for growth,” said Niren Chaudhary, Group CEO of Panera Brands and CEO, Panera Bread
 
The merger of the businesses could pave the way for another JAB Holdings IPO. In April 2021 Panera Bread was reported to have completed an $800m refinancing, a move which could pave the way for the company to go public after JAB Holdings took the company private in 2017 as part of its $7.5bn acquisition.
 
In July 2020, US donut and coffee chain Krispy Kreme raised $500m in an IPO valuing the company at $2.7bn. In June 2020 JDE Peet’s, raised $2.5bn with an IPO that valued the company at $17.3bn.
 
World Coffee Portal research shows JAB Holdings is the third-largest branded coffee chain business in the US. Combined, StarbucksDunkin’ and JAB control a near 80% share of the US branded coffee shop market. 

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