Panera IPO: Everything you need to know about the Panera Bread Brand IPO

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By :  ,  Financial Writer

What do we know about the Panera IPO?

Panera Brands, the casual dining company owned by investment group JAB Holdings Ltd., confidentially filed for a US listing in late November 2023. The group is aiming to go public sometime in 2024 but few specifics are known beyond that.

The IPO market has been in a rut for the past two years amidst rising interest rates, falling valuations and geopolitical conflicts. Several notable listings occurred in the second half of 2023—including Birkenstock, Instacart, Klaviyo and ARM—all of which fell below expectations shortly after debuting. At the start of 2024, only Birkenstock and ARM are trading above listing price.

More companies are looking to debut in 2024 as analysts largely expect interest rates to finally start falling by the summer. Panera joins Shein, Skims, Reddit and CVC Capital are all speculated to list in the coming year.

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Panera Bread was taken private by JAB in 2017 as part of a $7.5bn deal; in 2021 the company attempted to return to the public market through a special purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) set up by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, but the deal ultimately fell through.

In the past year, Panera Brands has restructured its management team, likely in preparation for an IPO. Former Einstein Bros Bagels chief executive José Alberto Dueñas took over in May, and Paul Carbone was appointed chief financial officer in August. In November, the company also laid off 17% of its corporate staff likely in an effort to lower reported expenses.

How to trade the Panera IPO

Once Panera Brands has been listed, you’ll be able to trade its shares in the same way as any other stock on the market. In the meantime, you can trade thousands of other shares with Panera Brands by following these easy steps:

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What is Panera?

Panera Brands includes more than just the fast-casual dining chain known for its bread bowls and caffeinated lemonades. The portfolio group also owns Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros Bagels. Together these companies centre around food and beverage opportunities for active workers and students across North America.

Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee was founded in 1992 in Minnesota, US. The company first went public in 2005 on the NASDAQ, but it was bought for $340 million by JAB Holding Co. in 2012. During its time as a public company, the Bahrain-headquartered investment bank Arcapita became its majority shareholder, resulting in more than 280 franchised outposts going up in the Middle East. Caribou Coffee maintains a presence in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates along with hundreds of locations across North America.

Einstein Bros Bagels

Another US-midwestern brand founded in the 90s, Einstein Bros started its business by buying out bagel chains in regions across the US that did not have strong traditions with the doughnut-shaped roll. Cities in which Einstein Bros focused its presence included Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Kansas City, Kansas; San Diego, California and Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2000, the company filed for bankruptcy and was bought out by New World Coffee, which was itself acquired by JAB in 2014.

Panera Bread

Panera Bread was founded in Saint Louis, Missouri, where it operates across 100 locations as Saint Louis Bread Company. Since 1998, locations across the rest of the US have been established under the name Panera Bread. Panera offers a swath of baked goods and artisanal breads baked on site; dine-in and takeout menus featuring pizzas, sandwiches, pastas and salads and a drink menu with smoothies and caffeinated beverages.

While Panera’s menu focuses less on breakfast than JAB Holding’s other two businesses, it is also seen as a neighbourhood café space. At one point Panera Bread was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi hotspots in the US.

Panera Bread was acquired by JAB Holding Company in July 2017 for $7.5 billion. The chain makes up 2,100 out of the 4,000 locations across all three Panera Brand companies. Einstein Bros has over 1,000 locations and Caribou Coffee has a little more than 700.

How much is Panera worth?

While Panera Brands has not released financial statements ahead of the confidential filing, we can look at valuations from previous sales and periods of public trading for all three companies. Panera Bread was last valued at $7.5 billion, at least that’s how much JAB Holding bought the company for in 2017.

JAB Holding paid $340 million for Caribou Coffee in 2012 and $374 million for Einstein Bros in 2014. Combined, that’s a total of $8.2 billion, which should be below any target valuation sought by JAB since it’s had years to grow and improve these companies.

Is Panera profitable?

Again, there is no public revenue data available for Panera Brands; however, in the press release announcing the group's preparation for the IPO, $4.8 billion in revenue was reported for 2022.

What is Panera’s business model?

Panera Brand’s business model focuses on capturing more of the fast-casual segment, which it already leads, by expanding digital capabilities and swelling its subscription base through loyalty programs.

Digital orders account for more than half of Panera Bread’s sales, and 25% of all orders come from its 53 million loyalty members. Panera Bread’s other technological integrations include AI driver-thru order-taking and palm-scanning at checkout to connect members’ loyalty programs and payment.

Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee both operate on a franchise model, allowing individuals to pay the company to open their own locations across North America.

Who are Panera’s competitors?

Panera Brands is in direct competition with other fast-casual chains across North America especially ones that focus on comprehensive breakfast and lunch menus.

Cava, a Mediterranean fast-casual chain, raised $318 million in its June 2023 IPO to reach a value of $4.7 billion. That figure has grown to almost $5.1 billion by the end of 2023. The chain emphasizes its healthy menu items and partnerships with social media influencers who created limited-time grain bowls—Cava’s signature dish.

Chipotle and Shake Shack are two more fast-casual chains openly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, valued at $62.5 billion and $3.2 billion respectively.

Who owns Panera?

Panera Brands is owned by JAB Holding Company, an investment group whose total portfolio includes related brands like Peet’s Coffee, Pret a Manger and Krispy Kreme (before it went public in 2021).

JAB is headquartered in Luxembourg, and its other holdings include luxury fashion brands Bally and Coty, along with two animal health companies, Compassion-First Pet Hospitals and National Veterinary Associates.

Panera Brands management team

  • Jose Alberto Duenas – CEO
  • Paul Carbone – CFO
  • Marlene Gordon – CLO
  • John M. Meister – CIO
  • Kathy-Jo Payette – CPO
  • Debbie Roberts – COO
  • Gregg Waterman – Chief manufacturing & supply chain officer
  • Niren Chaudhary – Board chairman
  • Patrick Grismer – Lead independent director
  • Michael Tattersfield - Director
Related tags: IPO Insights Stocks US stocks

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