Le Duff America Inc. is in the process of selling its Canada-based Timothy’s World Coffee and Mmmuffins concepts to a subsidiary of MTY Food Group Inc., owner of Kahala Brands, the company said Thursday.
Le Duff America, the Dallas-based affiliate of Groupe Le Duff, did not reveal terms of the deal with Montreal-based MTY. The sale will be completed in April.
The deal covers Timothy’s seven corporate and 30 franchised locations in Canada and two licensed locations in the United States and Mmmuffins’ four Canadian franchised locations, Le Duff said.
“The sale of Timothy’s and Mmmuffins is another important step in sharpening our focus as a French company and preparing for the upcoming U.S. launch of our legacy Brioche Dorée brand,” said Olivier Poirot, Le Duff America CEO, in a statement.
“As with our recent sale of Bruegger’s Bagels, we have found an excellent organization to steward the future of Timothy’s and Mmmuffins brands while continuing to strengthen our position for rapid growth with our French-heritage brands,” he said.
Le Duff America acquired Timothy’s and Mmmuffins as part of its 2011 purchase of Bruegger’s Bagels, which it sold last year to Caribou Coffee. Caribou Coffee is owned by JAB Holding Co., which also owns Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and Panera Bread Co.
MTY has acquired a number of U.S. brands over the past two years. In November, the company agreed to buy Culver City, Calif.-based CB Franchise Systems LLC, parent to The Counter and Built Custom Burgers. That followed a $300 million acquisition in May 2016 of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Kahala Corp., parent to Blimpie, Cold Stone Creamery, Pinkberry, Planet Smoothie and Tasti D-Lite.
Le Duff said its Montreal office would continue to support the Au Pain Doré brand and Brioche Dorée cafés in Montreal and Toronto, as well as airport locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Meanwhile, Le Duff America said it would continue to focus on its French-oriented Brioche Dorée, La Madeline French Bakery & Cafe and Mimi’s concepts in the United States.
Julie Hauser-Blanner, who joined Le Duff America in mid-2017 as the first U.S.-based Brioche Dorée president, said the MTY deal clears the path for a full launch of Brioche Dorée in the U.S.
“My top priority is to make this iconic global brand relatable to the U.S. consumer while maintaining the highest standards of guest experience and exceptional food quality that have made it the world leader in French-style fast food,” Hauser-Blanner said.
Le Duff America Inc. is owned by Rennes, France-based Groupe Le Duff, which has nearly 2,000 bakery-cafés worldwide.
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