Panera Bread Co. shareholders approved Tuesday the previously announced $7.5 billion sale to JAB Holding Co.
St. Louis-based Panera said the deal is expected to close this month. JAB agreed to pay $315 per share, a 30-percent premium over Panera’s 30-day trading average as of March 31.
The deal was announced on April 5 and included JAB’s assumption of about $340 million in debt.
For the first quarter ended March 28, Panera reported that net income rose 21.1 percent, to $42.5 million, or $1.88 per share, from $35 million, or $1.45 per share, the previous year. Revenue rose $727.6 million, from $685.2 million the previous year.
Same-store sales at company-owned bakery-cafés rose 5.3 percent in the quarter.
“Over the last five years, we have developed and executed a powerful strategic plan to be a better competitive alternative with expanded runways for growth,” said Ron Shaich, Panera chairman and CEO, said with the first-quarter earnings release.
Shaich said 26 percent of Panera’s sales are now digital. The chain has also been expanding delivery, which is available in 24 percent of the system. Panera said in April that it would expand delivery to 35 to 40 percent of restaurants by the end of the year, and add more than 10,000 in-store and delivery driver jobs.
Panera has 2,043 bakery-cafés in 46 states and Ontario. The locations operate under the Panera Bread, St. Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Cafe names.
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