ST. LOUIS, MO/April 8, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) St. Louis Bread Co., known as plain Bread Co. to St. Louis residents, is part of a much bigger chain today: Panera Bread. Regarded as a local tradition for those in St. Louis, the St. Louis Panera Bread chain sold to a Luxembourg-based investment firm that focuses on consumer brands this week. The restaurant-industry darling facility, which grew out of a Kirkwood store that opened back in 1987, now belongs to JAB Holdings Co., the owner of Caribou Coffee and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
The transaction went through this Wednesday when JAB Holdings purchased the Sunset Hills-based Panera Bread Co, at a deal valued close to $7.5 billion, including debt, as it expanded its coffee and breakfast empire. Contrary to other absorption sales in the greater St. Louis region, there was no reported financial struggles indicating that a sale was inevitable, no succession questions, no negotiations, and no regional drama flooding news sites. This Panera sale truly came out of the blue for all St. Louis residents.
“This was a definite surprise,” said Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones who follows Panera and other consumer brands today. “The company had been performing really well, especially versus the rest of the industry here.” The St. Louis Dispatch went on to claim that Panera had been performing exceptionally well, with their stock being traded at 33 times expected earnings, well above the industry average of 24.7 according to Reuters.
Today, JAB has offered $315 in cash per Panera share, representing a 20.3 percent premium to the stock’s closing price on March 31, the last day it was traded before any reports of the potential deal.
JAB Holdings, a foreign company, is the investment vehicle of Germany’s billionaire Reimann family. JAB is run by Chief Executive Olivier Goudet, who also serves with the Anheuser-Busch InBev.