January 05, 2010 // Franchising.com // California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (CPK) (NASDAQ:CPKI) has a licensing agreement with Kraft Foods to manufacture and market California Pizza Kitchen brand frozen pizzas in the grocery channel. Nestle announced today it has agreed to acquire Kraft Foods' frozen pizza business in the US and Canada. The acquisition includes the California Pizza Kitchen brand license for frozen pizza and related products sold in grocery stores. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed in 2010.
"We have had a terrific partnership with Kraft over the last thirteen years. We are excited about a new relationship with Nestle and look forward to working with them in further developing the brand in the grocery channel," said Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, co-founders and co-CEOs of California Pizza Kitchen. "We expect a smooth transition to Nestle once the sale is final and look forward to continuing to provide our same quality pizzas to consumers in their homes."
Brad Alford, Chairman and CEO, Nestle USA said, "The frozen pizza business is complimentary to our frozen food portfolio that includes the Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine, Buitoni, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets brands. The licensed California Pizza Kitchen business has been a strong contributor to growth in this frozen pizza category and we expect this to continue once the sale is complete."
California Pizza Kitchen, Inc., founded in 1985, is a leading casual dining chain featuring an imaginative line of hearth-baked pizzas, including the original BBQ Chicken Pizza, and a broad selection of distinctive pastas, salads, appetizers, soups, sandwiches and desserts. Of the chain's 253 restaurants, 207 are company-owned and 46 operate under franchise or license agreements. CPK premium pizzas are also available to sports and entertainment fans at two Southern California venues, Angel Stadium of Anaheim and STAPLES Center. Also included in the company's portfolio of concepts is LA Food Show Grill & Bar, which has locations in Manhattan Beach and Beverly Hills, California.
SOURCE: California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.