The deal, which will see the Wall Street merchant banking giant relinquish its 14 per cent stake in Pret A Manger, will give Bridgepoint an 80 per cent stake in the business, according to the Sunday Times.
Pret’s co-founders, Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham, control a combined 15 per cent of the business, with the management owning the rest.
Bridgepoint is currently in talks with the management of Pret A Manger about expanding the company into Mainland China, in a bid to capitalise on the surge in middle class consumer spend in the country, AltAssets reported last month.
The push marks the latest move in Pret’s ambitious growth strategy under the ownership of Bridgepoint, which bought a controlling stake in the business alongside Goldman in February 2008 for £345m.
At the time the company was already in the process of expanding its 200 stores in the UK, US and Hong Kong with a further 30 openings that year with a view of growing at a rate of 15 per cent each year.
Bridgepoint pledged to grow the brand “from a domestic to an international business through controlled expansion of its already profitable but small US presence”, and has since grown sales from £223m in 2007 to £377m last year.
Pret now has 295 shops mainly in the UK and recently entered the France. The company, which opened 22 new shops last year, plans to open 20 overseas stores in 2012, including its first in Boston in the US.
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