Le Duff America is nearing a sale of Bruegger’s Bagels to Caribou Coffee as it seeks to concentrate on expanding its French concepts in the U.S., the company said Thursday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale would add yet another breakfast concept to the massive number of holdings of Caribou Coffee parent company JAB Holding Co., which owns the bagel concept Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and Panera Bread Co., which it acquired earlier this year.
The sale is expected to close by the end of September, the company said.
Bruegger’s Bagels operated 269 locations at the end of last year, according to NRN Second 100 data, a decrease from 284 locations two years earlier. Most units are company operated, but franchisees own 90 locations. System sales last year were $197.2 million, falling 3.6 percent, from $204.5 million two years earlier.
Dallas-based Le Duff America, the U.S. subsidiary of Rennes, France-based Groupe Le Duff, acquired Bruegger’s Bagels from Sun Capital Partners in 2011. The company has opted for a more franchise-focused strategy in the U.S.
The company said it is nearing the completion of the first refranchising phase of La Madeleine French Bakery & Café, which it announced in March. This week, Le Duff America said it planned to expand its global French concept, Brioche Dorée, and named Julie Hauser-Blanner as the brand’s U.S. president. In January, Le Duff America named Olivier Poirot CEO.
“We are ahead of plan in our asset-light strategy to dramatically grow our company over the next decade,” Poirot said in a statement. “The recent transactions strongly reinforce our balance sheet and shift our mindset so we can focus on our French heritage brands.”
The Bruegger's Bagels deal continues the remarkable growth of JAB Holding in the U.S. In addition to the Einstein Noah and Panera Bread acquisitions, the investment firm has acquired Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee, plus the retail brand Keurig Green Mountain.
In recent years, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Noah have opened a number of co-located units following JAB Holding's 2014 acquisition of Einstein Noah. Before the deal, Caribou Coffee and Bruegger’s Bagels had experimented with several co-locations.
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