Edible Arrangements Partners With Direct Capital to Fuel U.S. Expansion

Preferred Relationship will Support Single and Multi-Unit Growth

WALLINGFORD, Conn., Oct. 8 // PRNewswire // -- Edible Arrangements®, the pioneer and leader in hand-sculpted, fresh fruit arrangements, has selected Direct Capital®, a national direct lender, as the exclusive preferred finance company for the brand. The expanded lending program was developed in response to capital needs to support growth initiatives in 2010 and beyond, and will be used for single and multi-unit development of new stores, store remodels and equipment purchases.

This announcement comes on the heels of Direct Capital's expansion of their franchise lending unit after securing $100 million from Key National Finance and other conduits and banks in April, and renewing an additional $100 million line from DZ Bank. They have been one of the few, if not the only, specialty finance companies over the last 9 months to secure new capital.
"During a time when it is difficult for franchisees to obtain financing, we've expanded our franchise division to better support the industry and help successful brands, like Edible Arrangements®, continue to grow," said Robyn Gault, Direct Capital's Director of Strategic Accounts. "The retreat of many lenders from the market has left franchisees with limited options and has driven forward thinking franchisors like EAI to secure relationships that will keep capital flowing through their systems."

Currently, Edible Arrangements has 929 locations with the goal to reach 1,000 units by 2010. Most recently, the company announced the launch of its new "core and station" store enterprise development program and the company's evolution into multi-unit franchising. A central component of the new strategy is Frutation by Edible Arrangements, a grab-and-go concept offering customers fresh-fruit smoothies and juices, fruit and green salads, dipped fruit and a variety of other fresh-fruit products.

The Direct Capital program in conjunction with Farid Capital, a secondary source set up by Tariq and Kamran Farid, to provide finance options to franchisees who do not meet the underwriting criteria of the DCC program, will help fuel franchise growth by new and existing franchisees.
"During a recession it's crucial for franchisees to have access to capital to grow. We are excited to work with Direct Capital to help our brand expand and prosper during these tough economic times," said Tariq Farid, CEO and Founder, Edible Arrangements, Inc. "We are committed to increasing our footprint into new and existing markets around the world. The combination of this partnership and the launch of Farid Capital Corporation are key ingredients to developing the brand across the globe."

Tariq Farid, recently the recipient of two Entrepreneur of the Year awards from the International Franchise Association and Ernst & Young in Metro New York, developed and launched Edible Arrangements in 1999 in East Haven, CT, after many years in the floral industry. He learned early that corporate support can make the difference between a struggling or thriving franchise. It is for this reason that Edible Arrangements offers its franchisees comprehensive corporate and onsite level training, unparalleled technology, national brand recognition, extensive support and now, financing.

About Edible Arrangements

Edible Arrangements International, Inc., is the leading purveyor of delicious, high quality, artistically designed, fresh fruit arrangements that are practical and healthy gifts. Founded in 1999 in East Haven, CT. by Tariq Farid, Edible Arrangements earned the 27th spot on Entrepreneur Magazine's "2008 Hot 100 List of Fastest-Growing Businesses in America." With 913 locations operating or opening soon worldwide, Edible Arrangements is rapidly expanding across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Italy, and Hong Kong.

All franchise offerings are made only by Franchise Disclosure Document.

About Direct Capital

Direct Capital is a national direct lender with over 17 years of experience working with leading franchise brands. Direct Capital is an Inc. 500 company who was recently named among the Equipment Leasing and Finance Top 100 companies, according to the Monitor, a leading industry trade publication. Monitor also ranked Direct Capital as the 6th largest independent provider of equipment financing in the United States. Direct Capital is headquartered in Portsmouth, NH and operates offices in New York, California, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Ohio, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

SOURCE Edible Arrangements International, Inc.

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