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FB Roundup: JAB Holdings, Bertelsmann, and Antofagasta

By Michael Finnigan

JAB Holdings signs $7.5 billion acquisition of Panera Bread

JAB Holdings, the investment vehicle of Germany's Reimann family, has signed a $7.5 billion deal to acquire bakery chain Panera Bread—the biggest restaurant deal in United States history.

JAB chief executive Olivier Goudet said: “We have long admired Ron and the incredible success story he has created at Panera… we strongly support Panera's vision for the future, strategic initiatives, culture of innovation and balanced company versus franchise store mix.”

Panera has about 2,000 bakery cafes in the US and its fresh offerings appeal to health-conscious consumers.

The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Germany's billionaire Reimann family, who have built up an empire of coffee and food chains in recent years.
JAB Holdings is controlled by the second generation of Germany's Reimann family: Renate Reimann-Haas, Wolfgang Reimann, Stefan Reimann-Andersen, and Matthias Reimann-Andersen.

Bertelsmann acquires stake in Indian ed-tech company Eruditus

German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, controlled by the Mohn family, has acquired a stake in Indian ed-tech company Eruditus Executive Education for an undisclosed sum.

Founded by Kalipatnapu and Ashwin Damera in 2010, Eruditus Executive Education develops executive education programs in partnership with Ivy League universities and currently markets and administers them in India.

Bertelsmann referred to Eruditus as "a perfect fit for our 'growth regions' strategy", with the direct investment showing Bertelsmann strengthening its activities in India with strategic investment in the higher education sector.

Founded in 1835, Bertelsmann made headlines in 2006 when family member and vice-chairwoman Liz Mohn blocked a possible IPO. The family paid €4.5 billion ($4.8 billion) for Belgian investor Albert Frere's 25% stake, leading to large debts.

Fellow family members Christoph and Brigitte Mohn also sit on the group's board.

Antofagasta earnings leap on copper price recovery

Chilean mining firm Antofagasta, owned by the Luksic family, has reported a surge in full-year earnings on lower costs and better prices, saying it expected commodity prices to improve further this year.

The company said in a statement that 2016 earnings, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, jumped 78.7% to $1.63 billion.

"In the medium term the group expects to see a steady shift from a market in balance to a slight deficit, leading to a further improvement in prices. There are wild cards of course, but these are more likely to be positive for the copper price than negative."

Antofagasta was founded in 1888.