Yum! Brands franchisee Ampex Brands has acquired American fast casual restaurant and café chain Au Bon Pain from Panera Bread subsidiary ABP Corporation.

With the completion of the deal, Au Bon Pain’s 171 locations are now part of the Ampex Brands portfolio and could increase the company’s annual revenue by nearly 10%.

Ampex CEO Tabbassum Mumtaz said: “Our quick service restaurant (QSR) brands performed extraordinarily well throughout the pandemic as guests moved to drive-thru.

“That performance allowed us to diversify and jump on a great opportunity to reposition a legacy brand. The bakery café category will rebound, and Au Bon Pain is well-positioned to grow.”

The transaction also grants franchising rights to Ampex for an additional 131 locations.

The company will now assume the role of the franchisor for the first time.

The deal will allow Ampex, which has been a franchisee for Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and 7-Eleven, to expand its footprint in the international market.

Additionally, with its effective operating strategy, the company will ramp up Au Bon Pain’s existing cafés in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

As part of this initiative, Mumtaz has created a team of franchise and operations experts to lead the Au Bon Pain brand, including appointing Ericka Garza as brand president.

Garza said: “The US is reopening, and our markets are coming back to life. As we open our cafés, Au Bon Pain’s brand reputation, loyal following, strong real estate and menu position the brand favourably for success.

“We also see opportunity in its nontraditional locations, currently in transportation hubs, airports, universities and hospitals.”

The financial details of the deal have not been divulged.