- Hollis Johnson
The cafe and bakery chain Panera Bread Co. has received takeover interest and is considering selling itself, Bloomberg’s Ed Hammond reported Monday.
The stock jumped more than 7% on the news.
Panera’s market cap was about $6 billion before the news broke.
The report follows a recent uptick in retail merger-and-acquisition activity.
Panera has recently doubled down on its commitment to “clean” foods, made without artificial ingredients or additives.
In January, the chain achieved its goal of cutting all 96 additives and ingredients the company identified on its “No No List” two years ago. Last week, Panera announced it would begin listing the amount of added sugars in its fountain drinks, making it the first national chain to do so.
Panera has also made significant investments in technology in recent years. In 2016, the company completed the rollout of Panera 2.0, a tech initiative that built the chain’s digital ordering system for Panera’s app and in-store kiosks.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Starbucks was the company that had shown interest in acquiring Panera. The coffee chain is working to boost food sales, launching a new lunch test at 100 locations in Chicago in mid-April. In July, Starbucks announced that it had made an investment in the Italian bakery Princi and that Princi items would be served in certain upscale Starbucks locations.