"Ultimately, we think there's an even larger opportunity in the country for us," Shattuck said.
The company started seriously considering expanding into Libya two years ago when U.S. sanctions on the country were easing. Shattuck said the firm received numerous franchise inquiries from Libyans living overseas.
"They were already familiar with the brand and wanted to bring it to Libya," he said.
"We were in every major market in the Middle East. Expanding into Libya made sense as part of our emerging market strategy," he said.
Today, Libya is recovering from a civil war that led to the overthrow and death of long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi last fall.
The Cinnabon push into Libya had been planned for early 2011. The company had selected local franchise partners, selected a location and the first shipment of products was on its way when the country erupted in civil war.