Panera Brands, Danny Meyer’s SPAC call off deal

Panera Brands and Danny Meyer’s investment group have called off a deal that would have seen Panera go public.

Panera Brands has terminated an agreement that would have taken the chain public again.

Panera Brands, whose portfolio includes Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels, will no longer merge with Danny Meyer’s special purpose acquisition group  “in light of unfavorable economic conditions,” stated Panera parent company JAB Holding Company. In an agreement announced in November, Meyer’s USHG Acquisition Corp. , or HUGS,  was to become a cornerstone partner with Panera Brands.

“We have tremendous respect for Danny Meyer, HUGS and its management team and have enjoyed a very collaborative relationship since last Fall,” said Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Brands. “Unfortunately, the deterioration of capital market conditions over the last several months has led to the realization that an IPO may not be imminent, and as a result we felt it was appropriate not to extend our planned partnership.

Chaudhary added that the company will continue to prepare for and explore an IPO for Panera “as market conditions improve.”

As part of the now terminated deal,  Meyer was to  invest directly in Panera Brands and become lead independent director of Panera Brands’ board following the completion of the IPO.

“Based on current capital market conditions, it is unlikely that an initial public offering for Panera will happen in the near- term, and so we have agreed not to extend our partnership beyond its existing June 30 expiration date,” said Meyer. “We are disappointed that market timing 

was not on our side, especially as we have such tremendous admiration and respect for Panera, its entire management team and their partners at JAB."  

Panera has been private since it was acquired in 2017 for $7.5 billion by JAB Holdings, the investment arm of the Reimanns of Germany. JAB’s U.S. holdings also include Krispy Kreme   Peet's Coffee & Tea, and Keurig Green Mountain. JAB is also the largest shareholder in cosmetics and beauty giant Coty Inc.


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