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>> British food chain Pret a Manger sold for $2 billion Tuesday to Luxemburg-based JAB Holdings. It's the latest in a series of multibillion dollar takeovers by the investment group designed to expand its coffee and beverage empire. With organic coffee and upmarket sandwiches Pret's gone from a single shop in London to a 530-strong global chain.
And despite its billion dollar price tag today, it was bought by private equity firm Bridgepoint in 2008 for $580 million. JAB is hoping its global acquisition spree could be enough to take on its Swiss rival Nestle, the world's biggest coffee company. But it has a way to go, this month Nestle struck a multibillion licensing deal with Starbucks, while continuing to reshape its image as a healthier brand.
The news was welcomed by Pret employees who will be getting their own sweetener from the deal. Its CEO promising each of the firms 12,000 workers just over $1,000 when the deal is complete.