Pump It Up Merges with BounceU: Former Competitors Become Single Largest Franchise Brand in Birthday Party Segment

It's `One Giant Party' in Markets Around the Country as Two Top Players Join Forces

July 08, 2008 // Franchising.com // Pleasanton, Calif. – Pump It Up, the nation's largest franchise of interactive, indoor inflatable playgrounds for private parties, announced today that it has merged with Phoenix-based BounceU, its only direct national competitor. The transaction positions both private party franchises for domination of the indoor inflatable entertainment industry.

Pump It Up, founded in 2000, currently operates 174 franchises in 33 states nationwide, with more than 70 locations in development, while Bounce U, which began in 2003, has 40 locations open and more than 60 in development. The two brands currently compete in approximately 15 markets. System-wide sales revenues for Pump It Up topped $70 million last year, while Bounce U is projected to exceed $15 million in system-wide revenues in 2008. . As a result of the transaction, BounceU President Brent Schmick will assume the role of Vice President of Franchise Development for PIU Management, which now serves as the parent company of both Pump It Up Holding, LLC and BU Holding, LLC.

"By combining the Pump It Up and BounceU brands into one organization, we are now positioned as the dominant franchise system in our industry," said Pump It Up CEO Gordon Keil. "We are confident that the unique strengths of both organizations will provide the skills, experience and numbers necessary to dominate our competition, which in these challenging economic times is critical for everyone with a vested interest in either brand."

As a result of the acquisition, Pump It Up will eventually move its corporate headquarters from the Bay Area in California to the Phoenix AZ area – a strategic move to make the offices more accessible for current and prospective franchise owners. Employees and management of both companies will be retained, and the Pleasanton, CA Pump It Up facility will operate as a back office. In addition, Keil noted that PIU Management will now operate as a multi-brand franchisor.

Schmick said BounceU's decision to be merged with Pump It Up was a win-win situation for both parties.

"The combination of the BounceU and the Pump It Up brands make this system by-far the most dominant player in the indoor inflatable entertainment industry," Schmick said. "We will now be able to leverage the unique strengths of both organizations. United, we have the skills, the strength and the numbers to reach incredible heights."

Pump It Up, which pioneered the indoor inflatable party concept, drives the creativity in the industry with talent who is uniquely skilled at creating new rides (inflatable and other) and new enhancements, while BounceU, founded by two CPAs and two engineers, has strong processes and procedures to help strengthen the combined franchise systems, Keil said.

In 2007, Pump It Up announced that Palo Alto, CA-based Tregaron Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment company, acquired a majority share of the company. As part of the transaction, Tregaron Capital retained Keil as the President and CEO to run day-to-day operations of the business while the company's original founders took a consulting role. Keil is the former CEO of Huntington Learning Centers and a noted expert in growing companies and managing franchise systems.

"Franchise owners and everyone with a vested interest in either system will benefit from the combined skills and talents of both brands," Keil added.

About Pump It Up and BounceU

Both Pump It Up's inflatable party zone and BounceU were created as fun, safe, clean places for children and adults to enjoy. Private parties for birthdays, teams, school events, etc. are available to everyone from toddlers to adults and must be reserved in advance. Trained staff provides guests with supervision, food and beverage set-up, and clean-up services.

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