exterior of Pret A Manger shop

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Pret a Manger is reportedly planning to purchase rival Eat and switch the chain’s 94 shops into vegetarian retailers.

Pret, which has 400 shops within the UK, has 4 branded as “Veggie Pret” and is aiming to leap on the development for vegetarian and vegan meals.

It comes as plant-based meals are growing in reputation, with shares in US firm Past Meat hovering at this month’s inventory market debut.

Each Pret a Manger and Eat declined to remark.

The Night Customary reported that talks between the two chains were understood to be at an advanced stage, with Pret in line to purchase the vast majority of Eat’s 94 outlets or the entire enterprise.

The paper reported that in February Eat’s private-equity proprietor Horizon Capital appointed Spayne Lindsay, a company advisory agency, to dump the enterprise.

Each meals chains are owned by non-public fairness firms.

Pret a Manger was offered by Bridgepoint to Luxembourg-based JAB Holdings final yr and as consequence all 12,000 staff employed at Pret received a £1,000 bonus. It has 500 shops globally.

The Monetary Occasions reported that “nothing had been signed” however that the “particulars had been being ironed out” on a deal. It additionally added that there have been potential different bidders for Eat.

In April, Eat reported a pre-tax lack of £17.2m within the yr to finish of June 2018, however mentioned that it had since skilled 11 consecutive months of like-for-like gross sales progress.

Veganism is rising in popularity in Nice Britain.

Analysis by the Vegan Society in 2016 estimated there have been about 540,000 vegans within the nation, in contrast with about 150,000 in 2006.

Shares of vegan burger maker Beyond Meat soared on their Wall Street debut earlier this month as traders guess on the rising reputation of plant-based meals.