Pret CEO offers employees £1000 bonus after acquisition

Pret A Manger chief executive Clive Schlee said it was `a day of celebration

Pret A Manger chief executive Clive Schlee said it was `a day of celebration

A majority stake in the sandwich chain, owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint, will be offloaded to JAB, the investment vehicle of Germany's wealthy Reimann family. The deal is thought to be worth more than £1.5bn.

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. 'It's serendipity for those who have just joined, ' he added.

As well as a growing presence in the UK, Pret has 530 stores worldwide including China, France, the United States and Hong Kong.

Pret a Manger sells organic coffee and sandwiches and salads made fresh daily in its stores, letting JAB tap into the growing consumer demand for lighter, healthier fare.

JAB made an approach to buy Pret A Manger as Bridgepoint was considering a US initial public offering of the company, Bloomberg News reported previous year, citing people familiar with the situation.

Nestle meanwhile recently boosted its position as the world's biggest coffee company with a $7.15 billion licensing deal with Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O). The chain opened 50 shops in the previous year alone.

Since 2008, the chain has been controlled by the investment firm Bridgepoint Advisers.

Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said: "This is a day of celebration at Pret".

It generated revenues of £879m a year ago.

"We look forward to working with Clive Schlee and his management team, while promoting the Pret brand and supporting Pret's impressive culture for the next phase in the company's growth with JAB".

In January, JAB's Keurig Green Mountain agreed to take control of Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. for $18.7 billion (U.S.).

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