Le Duff buys US Bruegger's chain
The French Le Duff cafe group announced Thursday the buyout of US counterpart Bruegger's to form what it called the second-largest bakery-cafe group in the world.
No figure was given for the deal, finalised Wednesday, "at the request of the seller" the US Sun Capital Partners investment group.
Le Duff, originally from Brittany in northern France, currently owns 820 outlets including the Del Arte and Brioche Doree chains, group chairman Louis Le Duff told a press conference annoncing the deal.
Bruegger's has some 300 fast-food bakeries in the United States and Canada and the tie-up means a company with turnover of over a billion euros (dollars).
Le Duff is already present in the United States with its La Madeleine brand. The new deal will see it making 40 percent of its turnover there and in Quebec, Canada.
Le Duff said it now becomes the second bakery-cafe group behind the US Panera Bread group which has some 1,450 establishements throughout the United States.
The group plans to "Francify some of Bruegger's restaurants, which currently have a large focus on bagels, breads and coffee, with some to be turned into Brioche Doree outlets.
Le Duff also announced plans to open its first two Chinese Brioche Dorees this year: in Beijing and Shanghai.
It is also present in Japan, though only via the export of pastries and frozen bread to hotels.
© 2011 AFP