In a further consolidation of an overstocked bagel industry, the New Jersey-based owners of Manhattan Bagel have agreed to purchase Chesapeake Bagel Bakery, which was founded in the Washington area but is now owned by AFC Enterprises Inc. of Atlanta.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
The addition of 89 Chesapeake Bagel Bakery stores--two dozen of them in the Washington area--will make New World Coffee-Manhattan Bagel Inc. the second-largest bagel retailer nationwide, with 365 outlets.
New World, based in Eatontown, N.J., acquired Manhattan Bagel in November 1998.
AFC, which owns Churchs Chicken, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Seattle Coffee Co. and Cinnabon, had purchased Chesapeake Bagel Bakery in 1997 for almost $30 million. But the retail bakery outlets didn't fit the company's plans for launching cafes with upscale bakery products, said Chesapeake Bagel's chief operating officer, Mark Renni.
Manhattan Bagel has 10 stores in the Washington area, but there are no plans to close any of the Chesapeake bakeries, said New World's chairman and chief executive, Ramin Kamfar.
Kamfar would not discuss whether the stores will be renamed until he meets with the Chesapeake franchisees, who operate the 89 stores.
"We're looking to build a national brand," he said.
"It's all about getting a strong brand name and getting sufficient marketing power behind it."
The purchase agreement does not affect a small number of Chesapeake Bagel outlets that were retained by company founders Michael Robinson and Alan Manstof when they sold most of their business to AFC in 1997, Renni said.