Au Bon Pain, Boston, will be acquired by private equity firm LNK Partners. The recapitalization of the company will support Au Bon Pain's expansion strategy in the United States and selected global markets, according to the company release.
Founded 30 years ago, Au Bon Pain was one of the first bakery café chains in the United States. Au Bon Pain today operates 226 bakery cafes systemwide, including company owned locations and franchise cafes in the U.S. and internationally. In 2007, Au Bon Pain generated sales revenue of almost $300 million systemwide.
LNK and its affiliates will invest more than $100 million of equity into Au Bon Pain. Compass Group PLC, a global food-service company that owned the company from 2000 to 2005, will remain an equity and strategic partner. An investor group led by PNC Mezzanine Capital, which structured and arranged financing support for management's 2005 acquisition of Au Bon Pain, and including AlpInvest Partners N.V., will sell its interest in the company.
Au Bon Pain (“the place of good bread”) has grown into an internationally recognized leader in the fast casual restaurant category. The bakery cafes offer a wide array of bread, pastries, salads, soups and sandwiches created under the direction of award-winning chef Thomas John and his culinary team. The company also is known for positioning nutritional kiosks in its restaurants to allows consumers to obtain detailed nutritional information on each of the restaurant's menu selections.