Based in Las Vegas Capriotti’s sandwich shop acquired in Atlanta Wing zone, a fast-paced casual concept with 31 locations in the US that offers made-to-measure chicken wings. The deal was announced in early January and the terms were not disclosed. The combination creates a company that, according to a press release, had sales of more than $ 100 million in 150 markets worldwide in 2020. Under the deal, Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti, will head Wing Zone, which was founded in 1993. The sandwich chain Capriotti’s has 115 restaurants and opened its first ghost kitchens for companies in 2020. Both brands plan to kick off business outside of the company in 2021.
FAT brands merged with its largest shareholder, Nebelschneider capital, in a corporate restructuring that removes restrictions and allows the parent company of Johnny Rockets, Fatburger plus seven more brands have more options to buy franchises in 2021, said CEO Andy Wiederhorn. “It takes off all the handcuffs we had at the time we went public,” he told the Franchise Times in 2017. Fat Brands bought Johnny Rockets last August in a deal that Wiederhorn called “transformational” for the company. “I expect we’ll make at least two acquisitions in 2021 and I think one will be on the order of Johnny Rockets,” he said.
Vertically integrated cannabis operator Item 9 laboratories Entering into the merger agreement with the Colorado-based franchisor A cannabis group and is expected to close in January 2021. One Cannabis is the parent company of the cannabis pharmacy Unity Rdwho wanted to merge with Cannabis One Holdings but last year failed after regulatory hurdles. Unity Rd expects to open its first store in the first quarter of 2021 and has signed franchise agreements to develop more than two dozen stores in the United States. “The merger with One Cannabis Group significantly improves our business capabilities through retail distribution and unique franchise operations.” Item 9 Labs CEO said in a statement, “Your business model and Unity Rd’s national network. Franchise partners create highly predictable, recurring revenue streams.”
Parent company of Saladworks, Center Lane Partneracquired Garbanzo Mediterranean fresh and Fruit bowls and creates a new holding company called WOWorks under which all three brands will exist. In 2020, Saladworks grew by more than 40 restaurants, 80 percent of which opened in nontraditional spaces like ghost kitchens and food trucks, and brought Saladworks to more than 100 locations. The Saladworks team will take over both the operations and infrastructure of the brands, while the current CEO of Garbanzo, James Park, will remain in office as special advisor to CEO Kelly Roddy for a month after the takeover. The newly formed WOWorks will market their brands as part of a healthy, active lifestyle geared towards Millennials and GenZ.
Subsidiary of JM Family Enterprises Home franchise concepts reached an agreement in December to acquire a family-run company Kitchen coordination, a franchise company offering affordable kitchen updates to 135 franchisees in 202 areas of the country and expanding the reach of Home Franchise Concepts to 1,700 franchise areas in the US, Canada and Mexico. The deal is the fifth brand in the Home Franchise Concepts portfolio – including Budget Blinds, Tailored Living with PremierGarage, Concrete Craft and AdvantaClean – and offers Kitchen Tune-Up expanded support in the areas of operations, technology and marketing. Heidi Morrissey, President of Kitchen Tune-Up since 2017, will keep her role after the takeover.
Lubys sells 13 of the 24 remaining Fuddrucker restaurants Black Titan Holdings, controlled by Nicholas Perkins, CEO of Perkins Management Services. The sale is expected to close in mid-March and Black Titan Holdings will act as franchisee for the 13 units. When Luby’s announced the refranchise deal, which is part of Luby’s plan to liquidate assets and distribute revenue to shareholders, Luby expects revenues to range between $ 93 million and $ 128 million, but other details were not disclosed.
Education-focused fitness franchise Sasquatch strength bought out his private equity partner, The Franchise Founders GroupSasquatch, founded in 2014 and franchised since 2018, plans to sign contracts for 14 new locations in December. This is a lofty goal for a concept that just opened its first franchise location in 2020. With four Sasquatch has already signed a contract in Orlando. “We are grateful to the franchise founders for their support and guidance in our early stages of franchising,” said Isaac Vaisberg, Founder and CEO of Sasquatch, in a statement. “You have been critical to our success and we are delighted to keep you as a minority partner on our team.”
Private equity firm the Halifax Group announced in December its plan to invest a majority stake in Papa John’s largest franchisee. PJU Holdings (Papa John’s United) with 194 locations in 10 states. The Halifax Group previously invested in PJU from 2007 to 2013 and is reinvesting for an undisclosed amount. PJU, previously a portfolio company of TPG Growth, has been a Papa John franchisee for 29 years and operates restaurants in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
Great West hospitality sold 13 Taco Bell restaurants in Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin to an existing franchisee, Haza Foods, led by Ali Dhanani. The deal was announced on December 1st and Unbridled Capital advised on the sales side. Haza’s portfolio spans 245+ restaurants and is one of the largest Wendy’s franchisees in the system. Haza is a subsidiary of the Dhanani Group, a billion dollar QSR franchise development group headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas that operates around 850 restaurants, including Burger King and Popeyes.
Hometown people, Under the direction of Gordon and Elliot Davenport, 23 Burger King restaurants in Tennessee were sold to Hometown hospitality. Hometown Folks was founded in 2003 when Gordon and Elliot decided to buy the Burger King restaurants in the Chattanooga area from a Chicago-based franchise owner. Unbridled Capital provided sell-side advisory services and announced the acquisition on January 8th. This marked the 12th completion of Unbridled since COVID-19 began.
Neighborly acquired Precision door service, a garage door repair and installation franchise headquartered in Titusville, Florida. The deal closed on December 31st and was Neighborly’s fifth service brand to be acquired in 2020. Precision Door Service was founded in the 1980s by Brian Tindall, who becomes a franchisee after the acquisition. Precision Door Service’s 100+ US locations will expand Neighborly’s reach to 28 brands with 4,500+ franchises.
Driven Brands Holdings announced the start of its planned IPO of 38 million common shares, which is expected to range between $ 17 and $ 20 per share filed with the SEC. Driven Brands, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, also plans to offer subscribers the option to purchase up to 5.7 million additional common shares for a period of 30 days. Upon exercise, the company intends to use a portion of the net proceeds to purchase shares from its existing shareholders. Morgan Stanley & Co., BofA Securities and Goldman Sachs & Co. are acting as joint lead book running managers for the offering.