|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
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Sep. 28, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 534
"We have several customers now running private clouds. They're not as large as they should be but it's getting there. The adoption challenge has been pretty simple. Look at the world today of virtualization vs cloud," stated Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Sep. 28, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,408
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
Sep. 28, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,049
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,242
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,255
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,873
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 28, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,902
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,685
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,459
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,359
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,086
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,879
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,239
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,261
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Sep. 28, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,625