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Shares of Panera soared nearly 14 per cent higher in after-hours trading on Tuesday following a report that Luxembourg-based conglomerate JAB Holding is in advanced talks to acquire the fast-casual eatery chain and that a deal could be announced as early as this week.

The bakery and sandwich chain, which has a market cap of more than $6.5bn, saw its shares jump 8 per cent on Monday when it was first reported by Bloomberg to be considering “strategic options” including a possible sale.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that JAB Holdings was in advanced talks to acquire the chain. JAB Holding owns brands including coffee chains Peets Coffee & Tea and Caribou Coffee as well as doughnut maker Krispy Kreme, luxury goods maker Jimmy Choo and Coty, which makes beauty products.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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