Pret A Manger weighing up sale to Filipino food group

Tue, 19 Sep 2017

British sandwich chain Pret A Manger is mulling over a sale to a Filipino food group, with the group being valued at more than $1 billion (£740 million).

The proposed deal would be one of the biggest ever executed by a company from the Philippines.

Jollibee Food Corp, which runs 2,700 fast food outlets throughout the Philippines and is often referred to as the country’s equivalent of McDonald’s, is said to be considering an acquisition of the British firm to expand its global influence.

According to reports, Jollibee has been holding private talks with an advisor over a deal for Pret, though both companies have declined to comment.

The Filipino chain is known for its locally-influenced menu of fast food classics, including fried chicken and “sweet-style” spaghetti.

In 2015 Jollibee acquired a 40 per cent stake in American burger chain Smashburger in a deal reported to be worth $100 million. The company has been expanding throughout Southeast Asia, too, and has a market value of over $5 billion at the time of writing.

Pret has built a reputation for selling organic coffee and sandwiches to office workers around 400 locations in the UK, as well as recent forays into cities abroad including Hong Kong and New York.

Last year Pret made £776 million in revenues - a yearly increase of 15 per cent - and opened 50 new retail locations.

It was reported in May that the food chain’s private equity owner, Bridgepoint, is considering offering stock to the public via the New York Stock Exchange.

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