Pret a Manger could bring vegetarian brand to Scotland after Eat takeover

Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said the deal is 'to serve a growing demand of vegetarian and vegan customers'. Picture: Pret a Manger
Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said the deal is 'to serve a growing demand of vegetarian and vegan customers'. Picture: Pret a Manger
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Sandwich chain Pret a Manger has swallowed up rival food and drink retailer Eat, in a move that could see its vegetarian brand, Veggie Pret, brought to Scotland.

The food group has confirmed the takeover, which had been rumoured to be on the cards since last week, and pledged to convert as many Eat sites as possible into its veggie-only offering to expand the "hugely successful" brand.

The move could see Veggie Pret, currently only available in London and Manchester, break into the Scottish market.

Eat has 94 outlets, including two at Edinburgh Airport and one in Glasgow.

Last year the chain appointed advisers at KPMG to investigate a possible company voluntary arrangement to close some of its underperforming stores, later deciding against the procedure.

The deal will provide an exit for Eat's private equity owner Horizon Capital.

Pret chief executive Clive Schlee said: "The purpose of this deal is to serve a growing demand of vegetarian and vegan customers who want delicious, high-quality food and drink options.

"We have been developing the Veggie Pret concept for over two years and we now have four hugely successful shops across London and Manchester.

"The acquisition of the Eat estate is a wonderful opportunity to turbo-charge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it."

At the time of the Pret, owned by investment giant JAB Holdings, had more than 500 shops in nine countries.