Next World Sells La Boulange to Starbucks

Starbucks Coffee is paying $100 million in cash to buy La Boulange Cafe & Bakery from investment firm Next World Group. Next World Group is the majority investor in La Boulange, a San Francisco-based, fast-casual restaurant chain. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.


Next World Group (NWG), a privately-held global investment firm, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell La Boulange Cafe & Bakery to Starbucks Coffee Company SBUX +3.36% 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 Sebastien Lepinard, 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 Sebastien 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.


About Next World Group


Next World Group is a privately held, global investment firm focused on long-term growth strategies. We strive to deliver superior financial performance while achieving positive impact on society. We invest as long-term partners through four strategies: global investments, venture capital, growth investing and philanthropy. Next World Group is based in San Francisco with offices in Brussels and Paris.