Orange County Business Journal

Mimi's Cafe Parent to Sell Chain for $50M

Kari Hamanaka Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The parent of Irvine-based Mimi's Cafe announced the sale of the restaurant chain to LeDuff America Inc. of Dallas for $50 million.

The deal, which is expected to close in the next 45 days, includes $20 million in cash and a $30 million note.

Mimi’s counts 145 restaurants in 24 states with annual sales of about $380 million.

Mimi's is expected to keep its headquarters in Irvine, according to an announcement from Bob Evans.

“This transaction is a positive development for Bob Evans as well as for Mimi's Cafe,” said Bob Evans Chief Executive Steve Davis in a statement. “After closing the sale, Bob Evans will have reset itself to better focus efforts and investments on achieving our long-term commitment to grow earnings per share 8% to 12% annually.”

A sale has been expected. Bob Evans announced in November that it was reviewing strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, of the struggling chain.

Mimi’s has been grappling with a prolonged sales slump with the chain not having seen annual same-store sales growth since 2007. It launched a bakery-cafe concept in October, offering customers coffee, specialty drinks, croissants and other items as an alternative to the chain’s traditional sit-down dining service.

LeDuff America operates several café-bakery and coffee-house chains, including La Madeleine Country French Cafe and Bruegger's Bagels.