USA – Leading bakery café operator Panera Bread has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Au Bon Pain Holding Co. Inc., the parent company of Au Bon Pain, a US-based bakery-cafe chain.
The Au Bon Pain bakery chain, which has 304 units worldwide, will rejoin Panera Bread under one ownership, having been owned by the founders of Panera Bread over 30 years ago.
Created in 1981 by Ron Shaich, Panera’s founder, Chairman and CEO, and his late partner Louis Kane, Au Bon Pain Co. Inc., went public in 1991 and acquired Saint Louis Bread Company in 1993.
Saint Louis Bread was renamed Panera and, in 1999, Au Bon Pain was sold so that all human and capital resources available at that time could be focused on Panera, according to the company.
The acquisition of Au Bon Pain is part of Panera’s initiative to intensify growth in new real estate channels, including hospitals, universities, transportation centers and urban locations, notes Panera Bread.
“With the acquisition we are announcing today, we are bringing Au Bon Pain and Panera together again.
This acquisition offers the strategic opportunity for us to grow in several new real estate channels, including hospitals, universities, transportation centers and urban locations, among others,” commented Ron Shaich, Panera founder, Chairman and CEO.
Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.
One of the most successful restaurant companies in the world, Panera Bread was acquired by the private equity company JAB in July last year.
It has over 2000 bakery cafes in Canada and USA.