Thursday 16 May 2019 2:53 pm

Pret in talks to gobble up rival Eat as part of health-conscious expansion plan

Sandwich chain Pret A Manger is in discussions to snap up rival food group Eat in a bid to create a swathe of vegan and vegetarian-friendly food outlets.

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Pret is nearing a deal to buy most of Eat’s 94 outlets or the entire business, the Evening Standard first reported this morning, in an attempt to build up its role in the healthy-eating market.

One source confirmed the reports this afternoon, but stressed that the talks were still ongoing.

Another told City A.M. that Eat has received interest from a number of potential buyers in recent months following the group’s recent trading results.

Earlier this year corporate advisory firm Spayne Lindsay was drafted in by private equity group Horizon Capital, which owns a majority stake in Eat, to sell the business as it grapples with rising competition in the crowded high street good market.

Last year Eat closed roughly 10 per cent of its outlets in a bid to improve efficiency as food delivery services also eat into earnings.

Read more: Eat’s owners mull sale amid strain on high street food outlets

Just under a year ago Pret was sold for £1.5bn to an investment fund of Germany’s billionaire Reimann family, JAB Holdings.

Pret and Eat declined to comment.