Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kelly Murphy, Sematext Blog

News Feed Item

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's Majority-Owned U-Swirl, Inc. Subsidiary More Than Triples Size of Cafe Network

Acquisitions of CherryBerry and Yogli Mogli Frozen Yogurt Chains Add 182 Self-Serve Cafés in 27 States and Three Foreign Countries

DURANGO, CO and HENDERSON, NV -- (Marketwired) -- 01/17/14 -- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ: RMCF) and U-Swirl, Inc. (OTCQB: SWRL) today announced that U-SWIRL International, Inc. which operates and franchises self-serve frozen yogurt cafés, has acquired the business assets of two operators and franchisors of self-serve frozen yogurt cafés. On a combined basis, CherryBerry Enterprises, LLC and Yogli Mogli, LLC franchise and/or operate 182 self-serve frozen yogurt cafés, which are located in 27 states and three foreign countries.

U-Swirl, Inc. is publicly-traded and is majority-owned by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.

"The self-serve frozen yogurt market is extremely fragmented, and we believe successful consolidators will dominate the industry within a few years," noted Bryan Merryman, Chief Operating Officer of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. "With over three decades of successful franchising experience, we believe the self-serve frozen yogurt industry offers the potential for above-average investment returns, and our investment in U-Swirl is predicated upon working closely with management to identify attractive growth opportunities that are compatible with the geographical and operational requirements for long-term success."

"The completion of this acquisition increases the size of U-Swirl's store base by over 200%, to a total of 267 self-serve frozen yogurt cafés in 35 states and three foreign countries," noted Rico Conte, Chief Executive Officer of U-Swirl, Inc. "Together, these acquisitions represent the achievement of a transformational milestone that positions U-Swirl as a major player in the self-serve frozen yogurt segment of the $6 billion away-from-home frozen desserts industry. Over the past 15 months, the number of cafés operated by our franchisees, licensees and U-Swirl has grown by more than nine-fold as we have expanded both geographically and within existing markets through new café openings and acquisitions. We estimate that U-Swirl, having launched its acquisition program only one year ago, is now the fourth-largest company, when measured in terms of the number of stores operating in the United States, and the only publicly traded company pursuing a roll-up strategy, within the self-serve frozen yogurt industry."

"We are delighted to welcome CherryBerry and Yogli Mogli to our expanding brand portfolio," continued Conte. "Our franchise support group will work closely with existing and new franchisees to realize savings through economies of scale and volume purchasing discounts, and to execute on cost-reduction strategies that are designed to position U-Swirl as one of the most efficient participants in the self-serve frozen yogurt industry."

CherryBerry Enterprises, LLC franchises and operates 156 self-serve frozen yogurt cafés in 25 states, Canada, Pakistan, and Turkey, with many new locations in development. The company and certain affiliates, including one Company-owned café, were acquired for approximately $4.25 million in cash and 4 million shares of U-Swirl common stock. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, CherryBerry and its franchisees currently operate stores in the following states and countries:

Arkansas          Colorado
Connecticut       Florida
Georgia           Illinois
Indiana           Iowa
Kansas            Kentucky
Michigan          Minnesota
Missouri          Montana
Nebraska          New Mexico
North Carolina    North Dakota
Ohio              Oklahoma
South Dakota      Texas
Utah              Wisconsin
Wyoming           Canada
Pakistan          Turkey

Yogli Mogli, LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, franchises 22 self-serve frozen yogurt cafés and operates four company-owned cafés. The company was acquired by U-Swirl, Inc. for $2.15 million in cash and $200,000 in U-Swirl common stock. Yogli Mogli and its franchisees currently operate stores in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

"As the owner of a majority equity interest in U-Swirl, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is highly supportive of our growth strategy," continued Conte. "We believe U-Swirl can benefit greatly from Rocky Mountain's franchise development and support capabilities, and its strong balance sheet has allowed U-Swirl to move quickly when attractive acquisition opportunities are identified." Rocky Mountain provided the cash necessary to acquire CherryBerry and Yogli Mogli through a $7.75 million convertible note.

(Note: For additional information on the transactions discussed above, investors should refer to SEC filings on Form 8-K and Form 10-Q by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. and U-Swirl, Inc. to be filed within SEC established filing deadlines)

About Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc., headquartered in Durango, Colorado, is an international franchisor of gourmet retail chocolate stores and a manufacturer of an extensive line of premium chocolates and other confectionery products. As of January 17, 2014, the Company and its franchisees, licensees and majority-owned subsidiary (U-Swirl, Inc.) operated 623 stores and cafés in 44 states, Canada, Japan, South Korea, The United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Turkey. The Company's common stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "RMCF." Additional information is available on the Internet at www.rmcf.com.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. was advised by Levy Capital Partners, LLC and Perkins Coie LLP.

About U-Swirl, Inc.

U-Swirl, Inc. is an operator and franchisor of self-serve frozen yogurt cafés that operate under the following names: U-SWIRL Frozen Yogurt, CherryBerry, Aspen Leaf Yogurt, Yogli Mogli, Yogurtini, Gracie Bleu, and Josie's Frozen Yogurt. The cafés offer frozen yogurt in 20 non-fat and low-fat flavors, including tart, traditional, and no-sugar-added options, along with fresh sorbet. Approximately 70 toppings such as fresh fruit, sauces, candies, and granola are available to customize each serving of yogurt to the customer's individual taste.

In January 2013, the Company acquired frozen yogurt café assets, franchise rights and certain other assets from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ: RMCF) in exchange for a 60 percent controlling ownership interest in the Company, certain warrants, and notes payable.

U-Swirl, Inc. is headquartered in Henderson, Nevada, and its common stock trades on the OTCQB under the symbol "SWRL." As of January 17, 2014, U-Swirl, its franchisees and licensees operated 267 self-serve frozen yogurt cafés in 35 states and three foreign countries. Additional information on U-Swirl, Inc. is available on the Internet at www.u-swirl.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements." These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and the companies undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking information. Risks and uncertainties that could cause cash flows to decrease or actual results to differ materially include, without limitation, seasonality, consumer interest in the companies' products, general economic conditions, consumer and retail trends, costs and availability of raw materials, competition, market conditions, and future business decisions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond the companies' control. Readers are referred to the companies' periodic reports filed with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. The information contained in this press release is a statement of the companies' present intentions, beliefs or expectations and is based upon, among other things, the existing business environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and the companies' assumptions. The companies may change their intentions, beliefs or expectations at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in assumptions or otherwise, and they undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this press release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that the companies or persons acting on their behalf may issue.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing ...
The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for applica...
The speed of product development has increased massively in the past 10 years. At the same time our formal secure development and SDL methodologies have fallen behind. This forces product developers to choose between rapid release times and security. In his session at DevOps Summit, Michael Murray, Director of Cyber Security Consulting and Assessment at GE Healthcare, examined the problems and presented some solutions for moving security into the DevOps lifecycle to ensure that we get fast AND ...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, de...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, includin...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
In his session at DevOps Summit, Tapabrata Pal, Director of Enterprise Architecture at Capital One, will tell a story about how Capital One has embraced Agile and DevOps Security practices across the Enterprise – driven by Enterprise Architecture; bringing in Development, Operations and Information Security organizations together. Capital Ones DevOpsSec practice is based upon three "pillars" – Shift-Left, Automate Everything, Dashboard Everything. Within about three years, from 100% waterfall, C...
With the arrival of the Big Data revolution, a data professional is expected to master a broad spectrum of complex domains including data processing, mathematics, programming languages, machine learning techniques, and business knowledge. While this mastery is undoubtedly important, this narrow focus on tool usage has divorced many from the imagination required to solve real-world problems. As the demand for analysis increases, the data science community must transform from tool experts to "data...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
Thanks to Docker, it becomes very easy to leverage containers to build, ship, and run any Linux application on any kind of infrastructure. Docker is particularly helpful for microservice architectures because their successful implementation relies on a fast, efficient deployment mechanism – which is precisely one of the features of Docker. Microservice architectures are therefore becoming more popular, and are increasingly seen as an interesting option even for smaller projects, instead of bein...
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Grow your business with enterprise wearable apps using SAP Platforms and Google Glass. SAP and Google just launched the SAP and Google Glass Challenge, an opportunity for you to innovate and develop the best Enterprise Wearable App using SAP Platforms and Google Glass and gain valuable market exposure. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian McPhail, Senior Director of Business Development, ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, outlined the timeline of the SAP Google Glass Challenge and the opportunity...
Application metrics, logs, and business KPIs are a goldmine. It’s easy to get started with the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana) – you can see lots of people coming up with impressive dashboards, in less than a day, with no previous experience. Going from proof-of-concept to production tends to be a bit more difficult, unfortunately, and it tends to gobble up our attention, time, and money. In his session at DevOps Summit, Otis Gospodnetić, co-author of Lucene in Action and founder...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise be...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo – to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo fl...