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Panera Bread being acquired for $7.5 billion

Panera Bread is being acquired by JAB Holding Co., a privately held business group whose brands include Krispy Kreme donuts and K-cup coffee-pod maker Keurig Green Mountain, in a deal valued at $7.5 billion, including debt.

JAB Holding Co., headquartered in Luxembourg, offered $315 in cash per Panera share. The deal is expected to be completed later this year, at which time Panera will go from being a publicly traded company to a private one.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Panera has more than 2,000 locations and about $5 billion in annual sales. It closed outlets last year in Newtown, Darien and Norwalk, but still maintains stores in Brookfield, Danbury, Fairfield, Norwalk, Shelton, Trumbull and Westport. Its Westchester County locations include Bedford Hills, Nyack, Pelham Manor, Scarsdale, White Plains and Yonkers.

JAB Holding Co. said it would maintain Panera’s executive leadership, including founder and CEO Ron Shaich, following the deal’s conclusion.

“We strongly support Panera’s vision for the future, strategic initiatives, culture of innovation, and balanced company versus franchise store mix,” JAB partner and CEO Olivier Goudet said. “We are excited to invest in and work together with the company’s management team and franchisees to continue to lead the industry.”

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