Starbucks Purchases San Francisco-based La Boulange for $100 million


A local San Francisco café chain called La Boulange has just been sold to Starbucks for $100 million. The chain currently has almost 20 Bay Area locations, but the majority owner, Next World Group has let go of them after a deal that has been in the works with Starbucks for the past six months.

Pascal Rigo’s local café chain La Boulange has been sold to Starbucks for $100 million, meaning within the next year or so Starbucks will carry La Boulange-branded  goods in every store across America. The news comes after Starbucks toured the United States looking for new bakeries.

Rigo said, “It’s a great day. Everyone is very excited. We are going to expand the brand and retail concept to the major cities. For us, it’s amazing. It puts us on the map. It’s validation of the hard work of everyone here.”

Despite the big announcement, Rigo says that local Bay Area La Boulanges won’t change much.

“At our 19 locations, we get 10,000 to 14,000 customers a day. We’d be stupid to change anything,” said Rigo.

According to the official announcement, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.

Next World Group, a privately-held global investment firm, invested in La Boulange in 2006 and implemented a focused strategy to sell distinctive, high-quality products and develop a local café-bakery-retail concept under the “La Boulange” brand.

La Boulange was founded by Rigo and has more than quadrupled revenue since New World Group’s investment in 2006.

Sebastien Lepinard is the founder of Next World Group and he said, “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. 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 Unites States.”

Source: Inside Scoop, SF

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