Panera Bread IPO filing

  • Panera Bread has secretly filed to go public again, the Financial Times reported.
  • The restaurant chain has been indicating for months that it is interested in an initial public offering.
  • JAB Holding acquired the company in 2017 for $7.5 billion.

Panera Bread Mango and Yuzu Grilled Lemonade is on display at a Panera Bread restaurant in Novato, Calif., on November 1, 2023.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Panera Bread has secretly filed to go public again, Financial Times mentioned.

The restaurant chain, known for its soups, sandwiches and bagels, has indicated for months that it is looking to go public through an initial public offering. In May, Panera announced a CEO transition and said the leadership changes were “in preparation for an eventual IPO” — amid a two-year IPO drought that ended in the fall.

Mediterranean restaurant chain Cava, headed by Panera founder Ron Shaich, was among the few companies to go public this year. Investors had mixed reactions to the list of offerings.

Panera isn’t alone in hoping for better market conditions in 2024. China-founded fast-fashion giant Shen filed confidentially for an IPO on Monday, Bloomberg reports. mentioned Tuesday that Reddit and Skims could also be in the IPO class next year.

Panera declined to comment to CNBC.

The company’s shares were last public in 2017. JAB Holding, the investment arm of the Reiman family, bought the company for $7.5 billion. It added Panera to its portfolio, which at the time included Keurig and Krispy Kreme.

However, in recent years, JAB has reformulated its portfolio. In 2021, Au Bon Pain sold to franchisee Yum Brands and acquired Krispy Kreme.

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JAB also tried to take Panera public again that year. But in 2022, Panera canceled its deal with Danny Meyer’s SPAC. The unusual arrangement would have exchanged USHG Acquisition shares for shares of the sandwich chain and allowed the company to survive a merger with Panera’s Rye Merger.

However, Panera canceled those plans, citing market conditions.

But the chain’s current attempt to go public comes at a time when the restaurant is under scrutiny for other reasons. The company was recently sued over “charged lemonade.” Prosecutors allege that the drink caused the death of their college-age daughter, who suffered from heart disease.

Read the full story from the Financial Times here.

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