Panera Brands is getting closer to being a public brand again: the St. Louis-based company reportedly filed confidential paperwork for an initial public offering next calendar year, as reported by the Financial Times. While Panera declined to comment on the alleged IPO paperwork filing, the timeline would line up with other preparations the company has made in recent months, including executive board changes in September, and 17% corporate staff layoffs in November.
The JAB Holding group — comprised of Panera Bread, Einstein Bros. Coffee and Caribou Coffee — first announced that it was preparing to go public in May of this year, after a previous failed attempt in 2022, following the dissolution of a partnership with New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer. At that time, Panera announced a leadership change from CEO Niren Chaudhary to current Einstein Bros. Bagels CEO José Alberto Dueñas. In May, the company also revealed that it generated $4.8 billion in revenue in 2022, most of which came from digital sales, and its loyalty program includes 53 million members, while its Unlimited Sip Club program accounts for 25% of all Panera transactions.
Panera was traded publicly for 25 years until being taken private by JAB Holding in 2017 via a $7.5 billion deal.
JAB attempted to sell the company to itself via a continuation fund earlier this year but failed, sources told the Financial Times. The company has allegedly been preparing since last month, as the mass layoffs were part of an attempt to streamline the business and boost the financial health of the company to attract future potential investors.
Although the IPO field has been relatively quiet this year — with Korean barbecue concept GEN Restaurant Group and Cava being the two major restaurant companies to go public — that trend is expected to turn around in 2024. Goldman Sachs said it expects the "real reopening of the IPO market in 2024," and Panera could be at the head of the pack, alongside other restaurant companies, including Twin Peaks, under FAT Brands ownership.
Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]