Panera Owner JAB Said to Be Raising 5 Billion Euros for Fund

(Bloomberg) -- JAB Holding Co., owner of restaurant chains Panera and Au Bon Pain, is close to collecting about 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion) in its latest round of fundraising, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Investment banks including HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley are putting in amounts ranging from about 50 million euros to 150 million euros, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. Representatives for JAB, JPMorgan, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

About 60 investors have contributed after the investment company backed by the billionaire Reimann family reached out to potential stakeholders including GIC Pte, Temasek Holdings Pte and Qatar Investment Authority, as well as the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University and Assicurazioni Generali SpA, the people said. Temasek declined to comment, while the others didn’t immediately respond to requests.

Still, JAB has found the response from some potential investors to be more lukewarm than it expected as funds balked at the firm’s recent spree of acquisitions, a few of the people said. The company this year agreed to purchase Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. for $18.7 billion -- with the acquisition scheduled to close at the end of the month -- and a majority stake in the U.K.’s Pret A Manger for about 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion).

JAB has over the last six years built a coffee empire that is set to mirror Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s dominance over the brewing industry. The firm, which owns coffee brands and retailers including Peet’s, Stumptown and Caribou, wields its growing market influence to buy the commodity now and pay later, Bloomberg reported in January. That strategy has left the closely held investment firm rich in cash.

JAB, based in Luxembourg, is also the largest shareholder in beauty company Coty Inc. and has a minority stake in consumer-goods maker Reckitt Benckiser Plc. The fund’s “consecutive and sizable M&A activity” over the last two years has led to a deterioration in its credit metrics, Moody’s Investor Service said in an opinion published after the purchase of Pret. It has assigned a long-term rating of Baa1 for JAB.

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