British coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger has found a new majority stakeholder: JAB Holding Company is expanding its already considerable reach within the coffee business with a purchase.
JAB is the private company of Germany’s billionaire Reimann family. The Luxembourg-based firm will be acquiring its stake in Pret A Manger from private equity firm Bridgepoint and a few other minority investors. While the price of the deal remains undisclosed, earlier reports indicate it will be around £1.5 billion ($2 billion) including debt, noted CNBC.
JAB has been on a bit of a buying spree of late when it comes to coffee brands. In recent memory, the firm also bought Keurig Green Mountain and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. The firm’s main competition is Swiss food and beverage mega-conglomerate Nestlé.
Nestlé is the world’s largest coffee company, and it’s getting larger whenever and however it can. As of this month, the firm announced it had struck a $7.15 billion licensing deal with Starbucks.
Pret A Manger has been in operation since opening its first London store in 1986. As of 2018, it generates around £879 million per year ($1.17 billion) and operates 530 stores in countries including the United States and China.
“Management’s proven track record and commitment to customer service, investment in innovation and approach to freshly prepared food position Pret well as it capitalizes on evolving consumer taste and lifestyle preferences,” said JAB Chief Executive Olivier Goudet.
Bridgepoint has been the majority stakeholder in the coffee brand for about 10 years, making the purchase for around £345 million. There had been rumors prior to the acquisition by JAB that Bridgepoint was considering a move to take the firm public.
However, it seems Pret will stay private after all.