Panera Bread to return to the public market

Panera Brands plans to go public with help from Shake Shack’s founder. The owner of the popular bakery café chain Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels said Tuesday it’ll file for a traditional IPO.

Panera said Shake Shack’s founder and restauranteur Danny Meyer, will directly invest in the company and become its lead independent director after the initial public offering is completed.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Meyer will also back Panera through his SPAC called USHG. SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, are listed shell companies used to take private companies public. They enable companies to sidestep the more traditional and lengthy IPO process.

The IPO will mark a return of Panera Bread to the public market. The company went private when Krispy Kreme owner JAB Holding bought Panera in 2017. JAB, Panera Brands' primary shareholder, will continue to hold shares after the IPO.

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