Travers Smith LLP has advised longstanding client Bridgepoint and management on the sale of Pret A Manger ("Pret"), a leading company in the ready-to-eat food market, to JAB, a global investment firm with a proven track record of investing in premium brands.
Acquired by Bridgepoint in 2008, Pret maintains a strong presence in the U.K. and boasts a rapidly growing international footprint with a presence in the United States, Hong Kong/China and France. Pret's sandwiches, salads and wraps are freshly made each day in shop kitchens using quality ingredients. Pret's offering includes an array of vegetarian or vegan sandwiches and salads, as customer demand for meat-free options continues to increase. The company operates 530 stores worldwide, generating group revenues of £879 million.
Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret, 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."
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."
The Travers Smith team was led by Private Equity Partner Ian Shawyer together with Head of Private Equity Paul Dolman, Senior Associate Ian Keefe and Associates James Ravden and James Sherlock and Trainee Solicitor Aimee Hutchinson. Competition advice was provided by Partner Stephen Whitfield and Associate Paul McComb. Tax advice was provided by Head of Tax Simon Skinner and Senior Associate Madeline Gowlett. Incentives advice was provided by Head of Incentives & Remuneration Mahesh Varia, and Associate Kevin Donegan.
Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.
JAB was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.