Bridgepoint has confirmed it is to sell Pret A Manger to JAB Holdings in a deal that is thought to value the chain at £1.5bn

The transaction, was announced this morning and is expected to complete during the summer .

Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said: “This is a day of celebration at Pret. This agreement recognises the hard work of all our amazing teams around the world. Bridgepoint has been wonderful owners of the business for more than a decade. All of us at Pret believe JAB will be excellent long-term strategic owners. JAB believes in Pret’s values and supports our growth plans. I am really looking forward to this next chapter of Pret’s story.

“I am also pleased to say that 2017 was another year of solid results for Pret, and we achieved our ninth consecutive year of like-for-like sales growth. The brand continues to thrive around the world thanks to our simple recipe of freshly prepared food, served by genuinely engaged teams.”

Olivier Goudet, JAB Partner and CEO, said: “We’re very excited to partner with Pret and its talented team to continue their extraordinary growth story. Management’s proven track record and commitment to customer service, investment in innovation and approach to freshly prepared food position Pret well as it capitalises on evolving consumer taste and lifestyle preferences. 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.”

William Jackson, Chairman of Pret and Managing Partner of Bridgepoint, added: “Pret has a unique culture and is a great British success story. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 10 years with Pret and its management team. This has been a successful investment for Bridgepoint and illustrates how private equity, investing for the long term and working with talented management can deliver strong growth for the benefit of all stakeholders: customers, employees and suppliers and create real value for the wider economy. I wish Pret and its team continued success for the future.”

Bridgepoint, the UK private equity group, which paid £364m to buy the business a decade ago, had been exploring a listing of Pret but decided that it could get a more favourable price through a sale. The deal values Pret at about 15 times earnings before interest and tax, according to the FT.

JAB is acquiring its stake in Pret through an investment vehicle of JAB Consumer Fund and JAB Holding Company.

JAB has controlling stakes in Keurig Green Mountain; Jacobs Douwe Egberts; Panera Bread; Peet’s Coffee & Tea; Caribou Coffee Company and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, among others.