Is Pret a Manager “ready to list”?

Pret a Manager, the UK-founded  but now globally present natural food chain, is contemplating a listing next year, according to sources who wish to remain anonymous. 

Pret, which was originally founded as an independent and single shop in Hampstead in London back in 1984, has been through a number of ownership changes, with McDonalds paying a reported £26.7m for a 33% stake back in 2001. Private equity ownership came next, with Bridgepoint Capital and Goldman Sachs paying around £396m to buy out McDonalds and take a controlling stake. Talk of an IPO was mooted at the same time as that deal, but, as was fairly typical in 2006, private equity won out. Bridgepoint bought out Goldman Sachs in June 2012, with the price paid not making it in to the public domain at that time.

Pret has expanded globally in that time, with outlets in Asia (Hong Kong and Shanghai), the US, including New York, Chicago, Boston and Washington, and more recently, Paris. No value has been yet been determined in relation to the possible listing, but with the company valued just short of £400m in 2008, some seven years ago, and talk of the listing being Stateside where Shake Shack, a US-based fast food chain, listed a mere 1.86% of its stock, raising $120m in January, it’s not unreasonable to expect a billion-plus valuation. 

That’s a lot of sandwiches for your money!