Panera is buying sandwich rival Au Bon Pain. This is a reunion for the 2 manufacturers, which have been united underneath a single firm within the ’80s and ’90s.

Panera Bread is shopping for the cafe restaurant chain that its CEO Ron Shaich co-founded greater than three and half a long time in the past.

Both chains are fast-casual chains recognized for his or her sandwiches, salads, soups and pastries. Au Bon Pain presently has 304 places worldwide, together with many in hospitals, universities, transportation hubs and concrete workplace buildings.

The acquisition will allow Panera, a series that promotes its wholesome choices, to catapult into new forms of retail environments, it introduced Wednesday.

“With the acquisition we’re baderting at present, we’re bringing Au Bon Pain and Panera collectively once more,” Shaich stated in an announcement.


Panera Bread is the newest meals model devoured up by European conglomerate JAB Holdings.
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St. Louis-based Panera did not disclose the phrases of the deal. which is anticipated to shut through the fourth quarter. Au Bon Pain officers couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

The Au Bon Pain information got here half an hour earlier than Shaich introduced that he is stepping down step down as CEO efficient Jan. 1, however will stay chairman of Panera’s board of administrators.

He stated he’ll proceed to work on technique, communications and acquisitions for Panera, plus deal with his private investments and initiatives for JAB, which acquired Panera in July.

Replacing Shaich as CEO is Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president who joined the corporate in January 2011 after a stint as president at Papa John’s.

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“This is the right time for me to step down as CEO while still staying involved in the business as chairman,” Shaich stated. “I’ve now completed 36 years as a leader of our company and I’m particularly pleased to be able to say that Panera has been the best-performing restaurant stock of the last 20 years.”

His denouement could be very very like that of Howard Schultz, who stepped down as CEO of Starbucks in April to change into govt chairman. Both males are recognized for his or her outspokenness on social points and for spending greater than 30 years constructing small cafe firms into world manufacturers which have change into one with their very own identities.

Shaich prides himself on Panera’s push into digital, 100% clear menu and loyalty program.

Shaich and Louis Kane created Au Bon Pain in 1981 and the corporate went public a decade later. In 1993, Au Bon Pain acquired the Saint Louis Bread, which was renamed Panera. Six years later, Au Bon Pain was offered off.


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Luxembourg-based funding agency JAB, which additionally controls the Krispy Kreme chain and occasional manufacturers Keurig and Caribou, acquired Panera out $7.5 billion this summer season and took the corporate personal.

Last month, Wall Street speculated that JAB wished to purchase Dunkin’ Brands, which incorporates one other mighty espresso chain Dunkin’ Donuts.

As of late September, Panera had 2,050 places in 46 states and Ontario, working underneath the Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. or Paradise Bakery & Cafe names.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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