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Einstein Buy Puts Manhattan Bagel On Top Of New World <b></b>

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Golden, Colorado-With the recent acquisition of bankruptEinstein/Noah Bagel Corp., New World Coffee-Manhattan Bagel Inc. ispositioned to become the "Starbucks of the bagelindustry," chairman and CEO Ramin Kamfar says. "We arenow the undisputed leader of the retail bagel industry, with 800stores."

Eaton, New Jersey-based New World was the winning bidder in theU.S. bankruptcy court last month for the assets of Einstein/Noah.New World bought the 465-unit chain for $160 million in cash, plusthe assumption of about $30 million in operating liabilities.

The goal is to expand the acquired chains through franchisingand nontraditional locations, Kamfar says, adding that there wouldnot be much change in the look and feel of Einstein Bros. Bagelsand Noah's New York Bagel stores. Company executives alsoexpect to strike more licensing deals, such as the oneEinstein/Noah worked out with Aramark. That on-site food servicecompany will operate Einstein Bros. Bagel stores on collegecampuses. Kiosks and small units in airports will also bepursued.

Einstein/Noah, which has expanded its lunchtime menu, has becomea leader in the fast-casual segment, Kamfar says."Einstein's is ahead of the curve," he adds."Lunch is where the whole bagel market is going. Lunch iswhere the action is." -Nation's Restaurant News

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