Panera to increase share buybacks after ‘dialogue’ with activist investor

Panera to increase share buybacks after ‘dialogue’ with activist investor

Operator also reports progress on refranchising plan

Panera Bread Co. is authorizing $500 million in new debt to buy back shares following a “constructive dialogue" with activist hedge fund Luxor Capital Group LP, and is making progress on its refranchising program, the operator said Wednesday.

The company’s shares rose nearly 11.9 percent at midday Thursday on the news.

Panera said its board increased the company’s share repurchasing program to $750 million, buying back $500 million in shares over the next 12 months thr

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