COFFEE chain Starbucks plans to buy La Boulange Bakery owner Bay Bread in a deal that takes aim at what long has been seen as its biggest weakness: food.
The $100m (£65.1m) cash deal is Starbucks’ biggest move yet outside its main focus of coffee.
The world’s largest coffee chain said its first priority is to roll out La Boulange-branded croissants, pastries, muffins and other food in its own stores, starting in the San Francisco Bay Area where the bakery is based.
Chief executive Howard Schultz called the deal a “significant opportunity and catalyst”, saying La Boulange’s artisan bakery goods will attract more customers and bolster both food and beverage sales.
La Boulange will be the second business Starbucks has acquired in less than a year. It bought juice seller Evolution Fresh for $30m in cash in November and opened the first in a planned collection of Evolution Fresh juice bars in a swanky Seattle suburb in March.
The firm’s acquisition of Bay Bread from majority investor Next World Group is scheduled to close in the quarter ended 30 September.
City A.M. Reporter