Sandwich chain Pret a Manger is to change hands for a reported £1.5bn after its private equity owner announced plans to sell to German conglomerate JAB Holdings.
Bridgepoint, which bought the chain for £364m in 2008, declined to reveal the terms of the deal, but it is reported that it valued Pret at £1.5bn including debt – 15 times its annual earnings.
The private equity firm previously considered floating Pret, which is known for its freshly made sandwiches, on the stock market but decided it could make more through a direct sale.
Pret a Manger began in 1986 as a single sandwich shop in North London and has since grown to have 530 stores, including 92 in the US and 26 in Hong Kong, generating £879m in sales last year.
JAB has amassed a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Krispy Kreme doughnuts, coffee giant Jacobs Douwe Egberts, cosmetics maker Coty and a stake in RB, which makes health and cleaning products including Nurofen, Dettol and Strepsils.
In January it announced plans to spend $18.7bn on Dr Pepper Snapple, the fifth-largest drinks company in the world.