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Sun Capital affiliate Bruegger’s acquired by Le Duff America

Bruegger’s Enterprises an affiliate of private investment firm Sun Capital Partners, Inc (Sun Capital), has been acquired by Le Duff America, Inc, the North American subsidiary of Groupe Le Duff SA. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Bruegger’s is a leading operator and franchisor of fast casual bakery-cafés specialising in bagels, breads, wraps, signature sandwiches, crisp salads, hearty soups, natural cream cheeses, gourmet coffee, and desserts. Headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, Bruegger’s was founded in 1983 with an emphasis on convenience in order to better serve customers with busy lifestyles. Bruegger’s was acquired by an affiliate of Sun Capital in 2003 at a time when both sales and profitability were declining.
Since the acquisition by a Sun Capital affiliate, Bruegger’s has reduced the Company’s cost base, remodeled nearly all locations, introduced new product lines, and significantly increased store count through the opening of new Company-operated and franchised units as well as through add-on acquisitions. As a result, sales at Bruegger’s have increased by 76% while EBITDA has more than doubled since acquisition and the company has grown into the second largest chain of bakery-cafés across the US and Canada. Bruegger’s operates under the Bruegger’s, Timothy’s Coffees of the World, Michel’s Baguette, and mmmuffins brands in Canada.
“We are pleased to add Bruegger’s as the newest member of our international family of brands,” says Louis Le Duff, founder of Groupe Le Duff SA, a global bakery and restaurant company established in 1976 in Brest, France.  Today headquartered in Rennes, France, Groupe Le Duff SA has had a presence in North America since 1987 and the acquisition of Bruegger’s is part of a broader growth strategy which includes strategic acquisitions and organic growth; 70 new restaurants and bakeries are planned this year alone.  With the acquisition of Bruegger’s, Groupe Le Duff SA becomes the second largest company in the café-bakery sector in the world, with sales of more than USD1.53 billion, more than 1,100 restaurants and bakeries, and approximately 13,400 employees.
“We are thrilled to partner with a Company that shares our passion for hospitality and great food,” said Claude Bergeron, CEO of Le Duff America, Inc. “The management team will continue to be led by Jim Greco as Chief Executive Officer of Bruegger’s based upon the outstanding foundation that Jim and his team have established under Sun Capital’s ownership. The addition of Bruegger’s to our North American operations combined with our other brands, La Madeleine, Brioche Dorée and Bridor, reinforces our position in the café-bakery segment and is aligned with our multi brand strategy.”
“We are very excited to join the Groupe Le Duff family of café and bakery restaurants,” says Greco. “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.”
“We are pleased with the tremendous progress and growth that Bruegger’s has made under our ownership and under the leadership of Jim Greco,” says M Steven Liff, Senior Managing Director at Sun Capital. “This transaction will allow a new owner to build on the positive momentum at Bruegger’s and continue supporting growth in the business.”
Piper Jaffray & Co and North Point Advisors, LLC acted as financial advisors to the sellers in connection with the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to the sellers in connection with the transaction.
Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melancon, a Montreal based law firm, and K&L Gates LLP, a Dallas based law firm, acted as legal advisors for the buyer, Le Duff America, Inc.

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