Welcome!

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
In the first article of this three-part series on hybrid cloud security, we discussed the Shared Responsibility Model and examined how the most common attack strategies persist, are amplified, or are mitigated as assets move from data centers to the cloud. Today, we’ll look at some of the unique security challenges that are introduced by public cloud environments. While cloud computing delivers many operational, cost-saving and security benefits, it takes place in a public, shared and on-demand ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, will discuss how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees will learn how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He will also look at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers ca...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, CTO and founder of Striim, will delve into four enterprise-scale, business-critical case studies where streaming analytics serves as the key to enabling real-time data integration and right-time insights in hybrid cloud, IoT, and fog computing environments. As part of this discussion, he will also present a demo based on its partnership with Fujitsu, highlighting their technologies in a healthcare IoT use-case. The demo showcases the tracking of pati...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.