Pret A Manger employees in the City today celebrated news that they would be receiving a £1,000 bonus after the company announced it will be acquired by German conglomerate JAB Holdings.
“I only just heard,” said Mohamed Naim, 19, who works at a store on Fenchurch Street. “I still can’t believe it. It’s a bit of a shock, in a good way.”
Still, Naim, who has only been with the company three months, said he has come to expect good things from the City’s favourite fast-food retailer.
“If there was a company that was going to do it, I’d expect it to be Pret,” he said. “In terms of how generous they are. It’s a really good thing.”
The sociology student, who just finished his first-year exams last week, said he would use the money towards his studies.
“It’s a really good way to celebrate finishing,” he said with a smile. “I won’t have to work as hard now.”
His co-worker, Ana Candelaria, 27, was also pleasantly surprised.
“I couldn’t believe it – you’re taking the mickey!” she said. “It’s really nice that we’re getting appreciation as well. It’s a reason to smile a bit more.”
Candelaria, who is saving up to buy a house in London, said the extra money would be a big help: “Maybe I can buy a house next year already!”
The good news for City employees comes after private equity group Bridgepoint announced it would be selling Pret A Manger this morning for an undisclosed sum, with reports suggesting it could be as much as £1.5bn
Luxembourg-based JAB Holdings bought the cafe chain through an investment vehicle of JAB Consumer Fund and JAB Holding Company.
Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee made the worker bonus announcement on Twitter saying: “We’ll be thanking the people who really matter by giving each of our 12,000 employees £1,000 when the deal completes.”
|Behind the Deal|
|JAB’s £1.5bn deal for sandwich chain Pret a Manger has given British private equity sellers Bridgepoint a tasty return on their initial £364m outlay, with a sole investment bank engaged by each to advise on the deal.|
The JP Morgan deal team was led by Harry Hampson, Toby Radford in London and Jamie Grant in New York.
Hampson has been with JP Morgan for 30 years and is currently chairman of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) industries coverage group. Before being promoted to his current role he was co-head of corporate coverage in EMEA.
A Canadian born in Montreal but educated at London’s St Paul’s followed by chemical engineering at Cambridge, Hampson has been the long-term coverage banker for Bridgepoint. He was previously a media banker who advised on News Corporation’s failed bid for BSkyB, the biggest media deal in UK corporate history at the time.
Radford is vice chairman of investment banking consumer and retail in Europe. He has been with the firm 23 years and advised Booker on the merger with Tesco. Grant is global chairman of investment banking consumer and retail.
HSBC advised JAB, while Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised on the legal side.
Both JAB Holding Company and JAB Consumer Fund are overseen by its three senior partners: Peter Harf, chairman Bart Becht and chief executive Olivier Goudet.