Pret A Manger is to be bought by JAB, two years after the investment firm acquired doughnut business Krispy Kreme.

JAB already has controlling stakes in food and drink businesses including coffee firms Keurig Green Mountain and Jacobs Douwe Egberts, US bakery and café business Panera Bread, and US bagel and coffee chain Einstein Noah.

JAB will acquire Pret from its majority owner, private equity firm Bridgepoint, and other minority shareholders. Terms of the deal, which is expected to complete this summer, were not disclosed.

“Pret has a unique culture and is a great British success story,” said William Jackson, chairman of Pret and managing partner of Bridgepoint.

Founded in London in 1986, Pret operates 530 shops; 381 in the UK, 92 in the US, 26 in Hong Kong, 24 in France, and others in China, Dubai, Denmark, Singapore and the Netherlands. With annual group revenues of £879m, the business saw its ninth consecutive year of like-for-like sales growth last year.

As shown in the 2018 Bakery Market Report (available as a free download to British Baker subscribers here), Pret grew by 50 sites in the UK in 2017. Vegetarian food has been a focus for the business recently, with Pret opening a number of dedicated vegetarian sites and also launching vegan products.

 “This is a day of celebration at Pret,” said Pret CEO Clive Schlee. “This agreement recognises the hard work of all our amazing teams around the world.”

“All of us at Pret believe JAB will be an excellent long‐term strategic owner. JAB believes in Pret’s values and supports our growth plans.”

JAB partner and CEO Olivier Goudet said Pret’s commitment to customer service, investment in innovation and approach to freshly prepared food positioned the business well to capitalise on evolving consumer tastes

“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,” he added.