Next World Group Sells La Boulange Café & Bakery To Starbucks Coffee Company for $100 Million
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (June 4, 2012) – Next World Group (NWG), a privately-held global investment firm, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell La Boulange Café & Bakery to Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) for $100 million in cash.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012 (Starbucks’ FY 12 fourth quarter). Next World Group is the majority investor of La Boulange, a rapidly growing San Francisco-based, fast-casual restaurant chain that embodies the authenticity of the French bakery experience.
Founded by Pascal Rigo, La Boulange has grown to 19 Bay Area locations and has more than quadrupled revenue since NWG’s investment. NWG is a long-term, growth investment firm headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Brussels and Paris.
“We have worked closely with Pascal over the past six years to build an artisanal bakery brand with a track record of profitable growth – exactly the kind of enterprise we look for in our investments,” said Sébastien Lépinard, founder of Next World Group. “La Boulange and Starbucks share similar values and a common vision for creating premium products in a socially responsible way.
We have confidence that Starbucks will stay true to the ‘La Boulange’ brand while bringing the romance of an authentic French bakery to consumers across the United States.” “Our long-term partnership with NWG and Sébastien brought solid financial management and strategic vision to help La Boulange through its growth and success over the last few years,” said Rigo, founder and CEO of La Boulange. “Their involvement and commitment attracted the caliber of management and financial partners we needed to achieve our potential.”
Next World Group invested in La Boulange in 2006, beginning the implementation of a focused strategy to sell distinctive, high-quality products and develop a local cafe-bakery-retail concept under the ‘La Boulange’ brand. Since then, the business has grown geometrically as the strategy to bring enjoyable products to an ever-growing customer base has remained intact.InsideScoopSF talked to owner/seller Pascal Rigo and broke it down this way:
- Within 12-14 months, there will be La Bou-branded goods in every Starbucks’ pastry case
- La Bou will expand to 200 to 400 units nationwide within the next four to five years
What do you think Noe Valley? Good thing for Starbucks or will you be taking your business elsewhere?