Le Duff America, the Dallas-based parent company of la Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe, has nearly completed the brand's refranchising initiative it announced in March and is focusing on companywide expansion, including the U.S. launch of the global cafe brand Brioche Doree.
The company finalized the sale of three of the five markets it placed up for refranchising to Sugar Land, Texas-based HZ LM Casual Foods, led by Amin Dhanani, which purchased all 26 cafes in Houston, Austin and Louisiana. It expects to close a fourth market, Atlanta, in the next several weeks and continues its negotiations with proven multi-unit franchisees to purchase its D.C.-area locations. In total, the deals include commitments for an additional 94 new cafes to be built in new and existing markets across the U.S. over the next 10 years. Le Duff America will continue to operate corporate la Madeleine cafes in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Le Duff has also announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Bruegger's Bagels chain to Caribou Coffee, the second-largest company-operated premium coffeehouse in the United States. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of September, were not disclosed.
"With the announced sale of Bruegger's Bagels and the successful refranchising of la Madeleine, we are ahead of plan in our asset-light strategy to dramatically grow our company over the next decade," said Le Duff America CEO Olivier Poirot. "The recent transactions strongly reinforce our balance sheet and shift our mindset so we can focus on our French heritage brands, including the upcoming U.S. launch of Brioche Doree, and continued growth in North Americathrough franchising."
Le Duff America Inc. is the Dallas-based affiliate of Groupe Le Duff, the world leader in the bakery-cafe segment with 35,000 employees and nearly 2,000 locations across five continents and 90 countries, with annual sales topping $2 billion. It recently hired Julie Hauser-Blanner, previously of Bloomin' Brands, to lead the U.S. launch of Groupe Le Duff's legacy Brioche Doree brand.
The company also owns Mimi's Cafe, a French-inspired concept with nearly 90 locations across the U.S., and recently appointed Philippe Jean as brand president.
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