|By Marketwired .||
|January 17, 2014 01:56 PM EST||
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.
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.
For Further Information, Please Contact
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cro...
Feb. 12, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 495
Recognizing the need to identify and validate information security professionals’ competency in securing cloud services, the two leading membership organizations focused on cloud and information security, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and (ISC)^2, joined together to develop an international cloud security credential that reflects the most current and comprehensive best practices for securing and optimizing cloud computing environments.
Feb. 12, 2016 11:45 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
Feb. 12, 2016 11:45 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 12, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 446
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
Feb. 12, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 297
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principal...
Feb. 12, 2016 11:16 AM EST
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Feb. 12, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 257
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
Feb. 12, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 429
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 12, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 138
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee...
Feb. 12, 2016 10:41 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that (ISC)²® (“ISC-squared”) will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Two leading non-profits focused on cloud and information security, (ISC)² and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), developed the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification to address the increased demand for cloud security expertise due to rapid growth in cloud. Recently named “The Next...
Feb. 12, 2016 10:30 AM EST
The Art of DevOps provides a fun overview to help teams understand DevOps. Written in the style of the famous 6th century Chinese manuscript “The Art of War,” this eBook describes DevOps in the form of a mission to continuously deliver assets to the operational battlegrounds safely, securely, and quickly. It’s a fun read with valuable insights.
Feb. 12, 2016 10:00 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Feb. 12, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 123
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Feb. 12, 2016 09:51 AM EST
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 12, 2016 09:30 AM EST Reads: 212