Panera is acquiring rival Au Bon Pain

  • Panera is acquiring sandwich rival Au Bon Pain. 
  • This is a reunion for the two brands, which were united under a single company in the '80s and '90s. 
  • Krispy Kreme and Keurig owner JAB Holdings acquired Panera for roughly $7.5 billion earlier this year. 

Panera is set to acquire rival sandwich chain Au Bon Pain. 

On Wednesday, Panera Bread announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Au Bon Pain Holding Co. Inc. 

With the deal, Panera will acquire more than 300 Au Bon Pain locations around the world. Au Bon Pain is a Boston-based chain that targets people on the go, with most restaurants located in hubs such as malls, hospitals, and transportation centers.

RELATED: Panera for lunch

12 PHOTOS
Panera for Lunch
See Gallery
Panera for Lunch
Lunch at Panera 母とパネラでランチ♪ #lunch #panera #ランチ
Hands down the best when sick #Panera #bang #chicken #lemon #orzo #soup, #mediterranean #chicken #and that good ol #fresh #bread
So happy I found a panera gift card in my wallet today! #panera #panerabread #asiagosteaksandwich #lunch #food #like4like #likeforlike #instagood #instamood #instadaily #iphonesia #love #potd #photooftheday #instayum #instafood #monday #nomnomnom #gm #goodmorning
Love the strawberry poppyseed salad from Panera :)#yum #panerabread #panera
Yummy breakfast from #panera nom nom nom 😜 #yummy #vegan #vegansofig #gayvegan #coffee #avocado #goodmorning
I love the iced green tea at Panera. #greentea #icedtea #panerabread #panera
I finally had my first bread-bowl cheddar broccoli soup from Panera!!! #excitement #food #foodporn #panera #soup #bread #breadbowl #yum
#panera #healthyfood #foodporn #smoothies @everybodysarockstar
Yes please! #panera #mothersday
Great lunch that I didn't even finish ._. #lunch #panera #panerabread #paneraemployee #employeediscount #paneraassociate #yummy
#frozenmocha #panera #drinkofchoice 🍫👍🏼
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The two brands have strikingly similar menus, selling sandwiches, salads, soups, and coffee with an emphasis on nutrition that many fast-food competitors do not have. However, Au Bon Pain has locations in areas where Panera is working to expand. 

"This acquisition offers the strategic opportunity for us to grow in several new real estate channels, including hospitals, universities, transportation centers and urban locations, among others," Panera's founder and longtime CEO, Ron Shaich, said in a statement. 

With Panera's acquisition, the fast-casual chain's parent company, JAB Holdings, adds another brand to its portfolio. JAB, which also owns Caribou Coffee, Keurig, and Krispy Kreme, paid roughly $7.5 billion to buy Panera earlier this year. 

The Au Bon Pain transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The two brands have a long history. Panera has its roots in Au Bon Pain, Inc. — a bakery-café created in the '80s when Shaich combined his cookie shop with the small bakery chain Au Bon Pain. In 1999, the company formerly known as Au Bon Pain, Inc. sold all of its Au Bon Pain units and renamed itself Panera LLC.

"With the acquisition we are announcing today, we are bringing Au Bon Pain and Panera together again," Shaich said. 

More from Business Insider:

Read Full Story

Can't get enough business news?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from retailer news to the latest IPOs delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.