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Panera Brands files for IPO and signs new investment deal

Recently formed fast-casual hospitality group, which includes the Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels brands, confirms SEC filing for an IPO and attains new investment from New York-based restaurant group, Union Square Hospitality Group

Panera Brands CEO Niren Chaudhary said he wanted to capitalise on global growth opportunity | Photo credit: via Shutterstock 



Panera Brands has confirmed it will launch an IPO, with CEO Niren Chaudhary stating his intention to capitalise on "global growth opportunity" for the group's coffee and fast-casual brands.
 
Formed in August 2021, Panera Brands comprises US chains Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels, which collectively comprise nearly 4,000 stores.
 
In a separate announcement, Panera Brands said USHG Acquisition Corp (HUGS) would become a ‘cornerstone partner’ with the group, with HUGS chairman and founder Danny Meyer becoming Lead Independent Director of the Panera Brands board.
 
HUGS is a special purposes acquisition corporation (SPAC) sponsored by an affiliate of Union Square Hospitality Group, LLC – a New York-based restaurant group comprising 18 businesses.
 
SPAC companies, also known as ‘blank cheque companies’, typically have no commercial operations and are formed solely to raise capital through an IPO.
 
“Panera Brands meets our investment criteria to combine with a purpose-driven business that is scalable and built for the long-term; a market leader whose greatest strength is its talent and heart; a company where people love to work and with which customers, suppliers and partners love doing business,” said Danny Meyer, Chairman of HUGS and founder of Union Square Hospitality Group.
 
“We’ve long admired Danny’s work as he built some of today’s most beloved brands with a relentless focus on hospitality and culture… We look forward to partnering to capitalise on the global growth opportunity for our brands,” added Panera Brands CEO Niren Chaudhary.
 
The IPO comes after months of speculation that Panera Bread was preparing to go public. In April 2021 the coffee chain was reported to have completed $800m refinancing in preparation for an offering. Parent company JAB Holdings took the company private in 2017 as part of its $7.5bn acquisition of the company.

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