Report: Panera Looking At Possible Sale To Starbucks, Domino’s, Others

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

Want a Panera sandwich with a Starbucks coffee? Right now, you’ll have to go to two different stores, but in the future they could be one and the same: Panera is reportedly looking for a buyer, and the coffee giant is apparently on the shortlist. 

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reports Panera is working with advisors to explore its strategic options, such as a sale or takeover.

So far, the sources say that potential suitors include Starbucks, Domino’s, and JAB Holdings, the company behind Krispy Kreme, Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Keurig Green Mountain.

Panera Chief Financial Officer Michael Bufano tells Bloomberg that the company doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.

While the sources caution that it’s uncertain if a deal will actually be reached, just the idea of a sale sent Panera’s shares climbing 8.8% Monday, Bloomberg reports.

The potential sale of Panera would be just the latest in a string of mergers in the quick-service food industry.

Some of the sandwich chain’s reported suitors are no strangers to acquiring competing and complementary businesses. In 2012, JAB purchased Peet’s. More recently Peet’s scooped up Stumptown Roasters.

Starbucks has branched out into both beverages and food, acquiring Evolution Fresh juice in 2011, Teavana in 2012. That same year, Starbucks bought La Boulange bakery, only to close all locations a few years later, and then investing in Italian baker Princi.