yum! Brands and 7-Eleven franchise Ampex Brands have bought bakery and cafe chain Au Bon Pain, helping to expand its international reach.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The seller was Panera Bread, part of the privately held JAB Holding Company, which owns several companies, including Pret A Manger. Another of its company, Krispy Kreme, is about to go public this week.
Ampex has over 400 restaurants and convenience stores. The deal, which closed Tuesday, makes the Richardson, Texas, company the first franchisor in its 16-year history. The transaction includes franchising rights at 171 Au Bon Pain locations as well as an additional 131 locations.
“Our quick service restaurant brands performed exceptionally well during the pandemic as guests walked into the drive-thru,” Ampex’s founding CEO Tabbasum Mumtaz said in a statement. “The bakery will be a return to the cafe category, and Au Bon Pain is well positioned to grow.”
Au Bon Pain was started in 1981 in Boston. Ampex plans to initially focus on Au Bon Pain’s existing cafes in key markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Once the existing cafes reopen and see positive results, Ampex will be looking to expand, starting with corporate-owned locations.