In yet another big purchase, JAB Holding, one of the largest and spendiest conglomerates on the planet, just bought Pret A Manger, the upscale sandwich/tea shop that are incredibly popular in the United Kingdom. This will be JAB Holding Company’s first foray into the retail sandwich market.
Pret A Manger is very popular with the white collar, urban crowd in the centers of cities. Office workers in particular tend to flock to the chain. This is a core demographic that JAB wishes to target. They will do so using corporate rewards programs, purchase tracking, and other data centric strategies that will allow them to grow and absorb Pret A Manger’s business.
The negotiations to purchase the sandwich chain ended up with a final price that is almost 2 billion USD. This deal also includes the acquisition of the assets and debt of Pret A Manger. This acquisition is the latest in a series of moves that JAB is making at the behest of their majority owners, the German Reimann family.
The company has spent 10s of billions of dollars in the food and drink markets. They have been snapping up properties left and right, from casual dining to beverage wholesalers. They own many companies across Europe, Asia, and the United States. Their first foray into the food/beverage market started like things often do, with coffee.
After purchasing standouts like Stumptown Roasters and Peet’s Coffee Jab turned their attention to the restaurant business. Krispy Kreme and Panera were their first acquisitions in this space. They later made an 18.7 billion dollar deal to purchase the company behind Dr. Pepper and Snapple.
Pret A Manger is one of their largest acquisitions to date. The roughly 3-decade old chain of sandwich shops prides itself on fresh ingredients and fresh baked daily bread. They are also in the coffee business and are reported to have one of the finest cups in London. They currently have around 530 locations globally, in Asia, Europe and North America.
Bridgepoint Advisors has had a controlling interest in the firm since 2008, during the financial crisis. If this sale goes through JAB foods will establish a critical foothold on the European market and have a new weapon to use in North America.