Krispy Kreme-owner JAB to buy bakery chain Panera Bread: Reuters

JAB Holdings, the owner of Caribou Coffee and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, said on Wednesday it would buy U.S. bakery chain Panera Bread Co (PNRA.O) for $7.16 billion, excluding debt, as it expands its coffee and breakfast empire.

Panera shares had risen about 4.6 percent from March 31 through Tuesday’s close of $274.00. The stock jumped nearly another 14 percent to $311.23 in premarket trading.

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 trading day before media reports of a potential deal.

The deal includes the assumption of about $340 million of net debt, JAB and Panera said in a joint statement.

JAB’s acquisition of Panera is the biggest-ever U.S. restaurant deal, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. It will be the North American restaurant industry’s second-largest acquisition after Burger King’s $11.53 billion deal for Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons.

JAB, the investment vehicle of Germany’s billionaire Reimann family, is run by Chief Executive Olivier Goudet, who is also the chairman of Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR).

Like the world’s largest brewer, JAB has built up an empire of coffee and food chains through a series of acquisitions in recent years, including Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and K-cup coffee pod-maker Keurig Green Mountain Inc.

JAB became the world’s largest pure-play coffee maker by volume in 2015, when it created Jacobs Douwe Egberts in Europe, a joint venture that combined its D.E. Master Blenders 1753 business with the coffee business of U.S.-based Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O).

Panera has about 2,000 bakery cafes throughout the United States and its fresh offerings appeal to health-conscious consumers. The St. Louis-based company has reported better-than-expected earnings per share for the last six quarters.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Panera founder and Chief Executive Ron Shaich and entities affiliated to him have agreed to vote shares representing about 15.5 percent of the company’s voting power in favor of the deal.

JAB also has controlling stakes in cosmetics company Coty Inc (COTY.N) and luxury goods maker Jimmy Choo (CHOO.L), among other companies.

Panera is being advised by Morgan Stanley & Co LLC and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is providing legal counsel.