Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dunkin' Again?

Could Dunkin' Donuts finally be making a return to Southern California?

The brand closed all of its remaining shops and left the Los Angeles area in the early 90s. Since then, Angelenos have had to travel to Phoenix to get their fix.

But the chain's new owners -- who purchased Dunkin' Brands (which also includes Togo's and Baskin-Robbins, two chains that are here) for $2.43 billion this week -- plan to expand into new markets:

The partners, Bain Capital Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners and the Carlyle Group, are buying the company from Pernod Ricard and plan “an aggressive expansion program across the U.S. and throughout the world” for the Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togo’s chains.

“With our new owners ready to support us in our growth efforts, a strong management team on board and continued excellent franchisee relationships, Dunkin’ Brands is well-positioned for global expansion,” Dunkin’ Brands CEO Jon L. Luther said in a statement.

Dunkin’ franchises more than 12,000 total restaurants worldwide, with some 6,500 Dunkin’ Donuts shops in 29 countries, 5,600 Baskin-Robbins worldwide and 400 Togo’s in the U.S. The coffee and donut chain has 4,400 stores in 36 states, mainly clustered in New England, its stronghold.

No word on whether Southern California will become a part of that expansion, but we'll keep you posted.

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