The appointment unites the leadership expertise of two JAB Holding-backed coffee chains, although details of the Pret A Manger CEO’s role at the Swedish coffee chain have yet to be disclosed
Espresso House was acquired by JAB Holding for a reported Kr 2.2bn ($312m) in 2015 | Photo credit: Espresso House
Espresso House Group, which operates 500 coffee shops across the Nordic region and Germany, has appointed Pret A Manger CEO Pano Christou as a Non-Executive Director.
Christou was appointed CEO of UK-based Pret A Manger in 2019 and is currently leading the coffee and food-to-go chain through a period of international expansion.
Pret A Manger recently announced its debut in Israel, with a plan to open at least 40 stores across the country in the next 10 years. This follows market entries in Canada, India, Ireland and Kuwait in 2022.
“I’m delighted to be joining the Espresso House Group Board of Directors. Espresso House is a renowned European brand, which I know shares the same passion for great coffee as Pret. I look forward to working alongside Anssi and the rest of the Board to meet the goals and aspirations of the business,” Christou said.
Lund-based Espresso House, led by Anssi Thureson since May 2022, was acquired by Luxembourg-based private equity firm JAB Holding for a reported Kr 2.2bn ($312m) in 2015.
JAB Holding also acquired Pret A Manger for a reported £1.5m ($1.8m) in 2018.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Pano Christou to the Espresso House Group Board of Directors. I have followed his work as CEO of Pret and he is a true inspiration to me. His expertise and insight in the business will be a great asset to us,” Thureson added.
Coffee and hospitality brands now comprise nearly 70% of the firm’s $34bn investment portfolio, representing more than $23bn in assets.
Alongside Espresso House and Pret A Manger, JAB Holding also manages the JDE Peets, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Bagels, Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme and Keurig Dr Pepper coffee brands.