Krispy Kreme owners, JAB, is close to a deal to acquire the US bakery and sandwich chain, Panera Bread, according to media reports.
According to the Financial Times, the group, which is owned by the Reimann family, could reach an agreement with Panera within days on a deal which is said to value the group at $7bn.
A deal with Panera would add to its existing stable of food chains and coffee houses across the US, which spans the hipster coffee brands Intelligentsia and Stumptown Coffee and more mainstream chains Peet’s Coffee and Krispy Kreme. In 2015 it also bought Keurig for $13.9bn, in one of its largest deals.
JAB is almost entirely owned by four of the nine adopted children of Albert Reimann, who died in 1984. He gave equal stakes in the company to his children but Wolfgang, Stefan, Renate and Matthias bought out their other siblings. According to Forbes’ billionaire list, their combined wealth is more than $16bn.