Pret A Manger gobbled up by German billionaires for £1.5 billion

Luxembourg-based JAB Holding Co. has added yet another chain to its collection - Pret A Manger.

JAB, run by Peter Harf, Bart Becht and Olivier Goudet, has spent more than $30 billion (U.S.) building its coffee-focused empire, which also includes Keurig Green Mountain Inc. of the US and three chains in Europe - Espresso House in Sweden, Baresso in Denmark and Balzac in Germany.

It booked revenues of £879m previous year.

Thousands of employees at Pret A Manger will receive bonuses of £1,000 each after German investors complete their purchase of the sandwich chain for £1.5billion bonus.

Pret has 530 locations, known largely for sandwiches and salads.

The Financial Times earlier reported that the price paid by JAB was £1.5 billion, including debt.

Last year, it was reported that Philippine fast food chain Jollibee was about to make a bid for Pret, but no offer emerged.

Many a NY lunch hour has been spent making a quick run to Pret a Manger, the British chain known for its ready-to-eat meals and ridiculously good cookies.

"Management's proven track record and commitment to customer service, investment in innovation and approach to freshly prepared food position Pret well as it capitalises on evolving consumer taste and lifestyle preferences", said JAB Chief Executive Olivier Goudet.

"All of us at Pret believe JAB will be excellent long-term strategic owners".

The sale price represents a multiple of 15 times Pret's 2017 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of more than 100 million pounds, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. JAB also has controlling stakes in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Keurig Green Mountain, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Co.

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