PRIVATE equity company Bridgepoint has purchased a majority stake in sandwich chain Pret A Manger.
The deal is said to be worth £345 million pounds, according to the M & C Report.
This is the second time the company have gone for Pret, having previously tried to acquire it in 2002.
Original founders Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham are thought to have retained a 20 per cent stake, along with the company’s chairman and chief executive. McDonalds has sold the entire 33 per cent share it bought in 2001.
Bridgepoint are now said to be planning aggressive expansion for the business, both domestically with 23 new outlets planned this year, and internationally beginning with seven sites in New York.
M & C report quotes Metcalfe saying: “This is an exciting time for all of us at Pret. Bridgepoint shares our vision, understands our culture and will support our roll-out plan globally, while maintaining everything that makes Pret work for our customers and staff.”
Bridgepoint partner Guy Weldon commented: “Pret A Manger is a unique business with many USPs that position it well to capitalise on food and consumer lifestyle changes driven by the trend for premium healthy eating.
“We look forward to working with the management team led by Clive Schlee and Larry Billett to ensure that the spirit of the Pret culture, which has served the company so well, continues as it enters this new stage in its development.”