Le Pain Quotidien was unable to find a buyer for its British branch, so the Belgian bakery chain is forced to take over about half of its 26 British establishments.
Still a future in the UK
Le Pain Quotidien's plans to sell all foreign branches - except France and Belgium - to master franchisees has been thwarted by the British, as no buyer was found for the 26 British branches of the bakery chain. In order to guarantee a future on the island, (future) owners M80 and Cobepa are now forced to buying the 13 to 16 best performing outlets themselves, Belgian business newspaper De Tijd reports.
The idea was to sell all British and American stores, as they were loss-making and the company needs to restructure. Le Pain Quotidien is currently in an insolvency procedure and is reorganising into a slimmed-down form: the new 'Le Pain Quotidien bis' will include the stores under own management (Belgium, France and possibly soon the United Kingdom), the production workshop, the brand rights and the franchise contracts.
Investor groups M80 and Cobepa will become the new owners, without former minority shareholders such as Emiel Lathouwers and founder Alain Coumont. The company's high level of debt is taken over by Cobepa. For the American branch a buyer has been found: fast-food group Aurify Brands becomes the master franchiser.