Business briefs: La Madeleine parent company buys Mimi's Cafe chain

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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LeDuff America buys Mimi's Cafe chain

La Madeleine's corporate parent, LeDuff America, has paid $50 million to acquire the 145-unit Mimi's Cafe chain from Bob Evans Farms.

Ohio-based Bob Evans said Tuesday it accepted $20 million in cash and the rest in a note, adding that the deal is likely to close in 45 days. Mimi's, which describes itself as a "French-inspired neighborhood bistro," has locations in Fort Worth, Arlington and Grapevine.

Aside from Dallas-based La Madeleine, LeDuff also owns such U.S. chains as Bruegger's Bagels, Timothy's Coffee, Brioche Doree and Michel's Baguette. It is a unit of Groupe LeDuff SA of Rennes, France.

-- Barry Shlachter

Ford shares drop with European group news

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford's shares dropped nearly 5 percent Tuesday after the company said it expects to lose more money in Europe this year and break even in Asia and South America. It said sales will increase next year but profits should remain about the same, dashing hopes that margins will continue to grow.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker posted record pretax profit of $8.3 billion in North America in 2012, the result of a six-year turnaround orchestrated by CEO Alan Mulally. It's reaching back into that playbook to fix its operations in Europe, where it lost $1.75 billion.

The European restructuring plan announced in October was one reason Ford's stock has been trading at levels not seen since 2011.

-- The Associated Press

U.S. home prices post jump in November

U.S. home prices accelerated 5.5 percent in November compared with a year ago, pushed higher by rising sales and a tighter supply of available homes, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index.

All but one of the cities posted annual gains. The largest gain was in Phoenix, where prices jumped nearly 23 percent, followed by San Francisco, where prices rose 12.7 percent, and Detroit, where they increased 11.9 percent.

-- The Associated Press

Online version of Office software on market

SAN FRANCISCO -- Microsoft is selling a retooled, online version of its Office software as it tries to extend a key franchise beyond personal computers.

-- The Associated Press

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