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Private Equity Firm Takes Panera Bread Private

JAB, a private equity firm, has completed its acquisition of Panera Bread, taking the firm private. It was delisted on NASDAQ on Tuesday. Sam Covelli, CEO of Panera's largest franchisee, the 300-plus-unit Corelli Enterprises, indicated that he wasn't expecting any untoward changes.

Corelli CEO Sam Corelli has said it will be "business as usual" under the new owners, and that "JAB is highly supportive of Panera’s vision for the future and the importance of franchise groups like Corelli Enterprises in executing that vision and continuing to grow the brand."

…St. Louis-based Panera (NASDAQ:PNRA) was acquired for $7.5 billion by an investment vehicle of JAB Consumer Fund and JAB Holding Co., the companies said Tuesday. — Doug Buchanan, Columbus Business First

According to JAB Holding's website, they are interested in long term investments, not short term holdings. Panera Bread founder, CEO and chairman Ron Shaich, in an interview with CNBC's Jim Cramer back in April, was enthusiastic about the JAB buyout, saying that JAB's outlook is very long term ("centuries") and that being a private company had advantages over being publicly held, such as not being pressured for very short term performance ("a month") when a longer term outlook was best for the company. In contrast to what's often happened to CEO's of other companies after an M&A, Shaich expected to continue with Panera Bread.

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