Groupe Le Duff, Rennes, France, owner of La Madeleine bakery cafés, purchased Burlington, Vt.-based Bruegger’s. The bagel chain will be managed by Le Duff America Inc., the North American subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff SA. Jim Greco is expected to remain Bruegger’s chief executive officer.
“We are very excited to join the Groupe Le Duff family of bakery café and bakery restaurants,” Greco said. “They are an ideal partner, and our combined expertise will help enhance Bruegger’s stable of brands and expand our concepts across North America through both company-owned and franchised bakery cafés.”
Groupe Le Duff operates 820 outlets including the Del Arte and Brioche Doree chains. With the Bruegger’s acquisition, it will operate more than 1,100 units with sales of more than $1.53 billion, becoming the second largest bakery café company in the world, behind Panera Bread.
Le Duff has had an American presence since 2001 when it purchased La Madeleine, which currently operates 60 stores. Le Duff plans to open 70 Bruegger’s units this year, and will “Francify” some locations while turning others into Brioche Doree outlets.
“We are thrilled to partner with a company that shares our passion for hospitality and great food,” said Claude Bergeron, chief executive officer of Le Duff America. “The addition of Bruegger’s to our North American operations combined with our other brands–La Madeleine, Brioche Doree and Bridor– reinforces our position in the bakery café segment and is aligned with our multi brand strategy.”