Bengaluru — Pret a Manger (Pret) has bought smaller rival EAT, the British sandwich and coffee shop chain said on Wednesday, as it looks to capitalise on the thriving vegan and vegetarian market through its Veggie Pret brand. Pret said it plans to convert most of the EAT shops into Veggie Pret outlets catering to health-conscious consumers who prefer plant-based meals over meat. “The acquisition of the EAT estate is a wonderful opportunity to turbo-charge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it,” CEO Clive Schlee said. The deal was an all-cash transaction with some of the deal being financed with debt, the Financial Times said citing unnamed sources, adding that EAT was being valued at between £55m and £60m ($76m). JAB, the family office of the billionaire Reimann family, bought Pret for $2bn from its private equity owners in 2018. The first Veggie Pret was opened in 2016 and Pret has been experimenting with vegetarian and vegan options for products su...

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