Panera Bread shares jump on report of possible sale

The sign on the hood of a delivery truck for Panera Bread Co. is seen in Westminster

(Reuters) – Shares of Panera Bread Co <PNRA.O> rose 8 percent to a record high on Monday on a report that the bakery cafe chain was considering strategic options, including a sale, after receiving takeover interest.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the St. Louis, Missouri-based company was working with advisers to study the options. Potential suitors could include JAB Holding Co and Domino’s Pizza Inc <DPZ.N>, Bloomberg said, citing one of the sources. (

Panera does not comment on rumors or speculation, a company spokesman said.

Panera’s shares rose as high as $292.42 on the news before closing up $20.76 at $282.63. The company had a market value of about $6 billion as of March 31.

Domino’s spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre-Petko said in an email the company was committed to remaining a single-brand pizza provider and was not discussing the purchase of Panera.

JAB could not be reached for comment after market hours.

“We wonder if shareholders would truly be better off under new management,” RBC analysts wrote in a research note on Monday. “Given Panera’s strong management team, and tangible sales initiatives (delivery, catering, and rising digital adoption), we struggle to come up with the strategic rationale for a would-be buyer in the publicly traded realm.”

Shares of Panera, which has reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue for the last six quarters, have risen more than 37 percent so far this year.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Ismail Shakil and Jessica Kuruthukulangara; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Richard Chang)