JAB Gobbles Up Stake In Pret A Manger From Bridgepoint

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The UK private equity firm is selling Pret to JAB Holdings after a decade of ownership of owning the chain, which has expanded in Britain, where its operations focus on London, the US, China and France.

JAB, which acts as an investment vehicle for the reclusive Reimann family, now owns doughnut maker Krispy Kreme as well as coffee brands Kenco, Douwe Egberts, and Tassimo, and secured a US$18.7bn deal earlier this year to acquire fizzy drinks maker Dr Pepper Snapple.

It also gives a windfall to Pret's 12,000 staff as Chief (Taiwan OTC: 3345.TWO - news) Executive Clive Schlee said via Twitter (Frankfurt: A1W6XZ - news) they would each get a 1,000 pound bonus once the deal completes.

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JAB has built up the world's second-largest coffee business during the past five years.

Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said: 'The £1,000 bonus will be paid to all employees who are on the payroll during the week the deal completes.

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Pret started out as a single shop in north London in 1986 and now has 530 stores worldwide, including in the U.S. and Asia. The sale represents a return of six times on Bridgepoint's initial investment, according to a person familiar with the matter.

JAB Holdings is one of those companies, though Nestle still holds top spot in the coffee market. JAB also has controlling stakes in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co. JAB believes in Pret's values and supports our growth plans.

Olivier Goudet, JAB Partner and CEO, says the company is very excited to partner with Pret and expects strong growth.

In January, JAB announced a deal to merge Keurig with US-based soft-drinks supplier Dr Pepper Snapple Group to broaden its interest in beverages.

Chairman of Pret and managing partner of Bridgepoint William Jackson added: "Pret has a unique culture and is a great British success story".

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