Panera: Going from Publicly-Held to Privately-Held
Most of us have heard of Panera. For those who have not, Panera is that trendy restaurant that sells fresh, clean foods to its customers. It started out in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co., Inc. In order to expand, they bought Saint Louis Bread Company with 20 bakery/cafes and then put their initial public offering available to the public. During the mid-90’s, the stock bounced around on the 3 and 4 dollar range. In the late 90’s the stock began an 18 year ascent. Today the share price is over $300 with a total company value of $7.12B based on market capitalization.
JAB Holding is now interested in the company as a private investor. JAB already owns Krispy Kreme and Keurig Cold Mountain. As a result of the purchase, the company would then again be a privately-held company and would not make financial statements public as well.
Editor’s Comment: While this particular possibility has not happened yet and means probably very little for the Panera menu of items and its customers, it is interesting to think that there are a handful of other large privately-held companies in this country. Among the biggest include Chrysler, Mars, Penske and Menards. While the evolution of a company usually goes from closely or privately-held to publically held, some companies can go in reverse as well.
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