HENDERSON, NV - (Marketwired - Oct 2, 2013) - U-Swirl, Inc. (OTCQB: SWRL) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, U-SWIRL International, which operates and franchises self-serve frozen yogurt cafés, has acquired the business assets of Josie's Frozen Yogurt, LLC. The acquisition of all intellectual property and worldwide franchise and license rights includes the rights associated with 11 currently operating Josie's Frozen Yogurt stores. The stores are located in Arizona, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, South Carolina and Virginia. While financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Josie's will be entitled to an earn-out if certain milestones are achieved.
U-Swirl, Inc. is majority-owned by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (Nasdaq Global Market: RMCF).
"The completion of this acquisition increases the size of U-Swirl's store base by 14%, to a total of 90 units in 25 states," noted Rico Conte, Chief Executive Officer of U-Swirl, Inc. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work and share best practices with another budding frozen yogurt brand. Josie's store management team includes many well-seasoned franchisees, several of which have experience at nationally recognized franchise organizations such as Subway and Panhandlers' Pizza. Our immediate goals are to identify the potential for increased savings, offer enhanced support services and execute on cost-reduction strategies throughout the Josie's franchise network."
"We are pleased to welcome Josie's Frozen Yogurt to the U-Swirl family of frozen yogurt brands as we continue to expand our competitive footprint within the $6 billion away-from-home frozen desserts market," continued Conte. "The self-serve frozen yogurt market is extremely fragmented, and we believe consolidation is necessary for the future success of the industry. U-Swirl intends to play an important role in this process as we pursue economies of scale through both organic growth and an aggressive acquisition program."
U-Swirl, Inc. is an operator and franchisor of self-serve frozen yogurt cafés that operate under the following names: U-SWIRL Frozen Yogurt, Aspen Leaf Yogurt, 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.
The table below details the number of stores operating under each brand:
|Aspen Leaf Yogurt|
|Josie's Frozen Yogurt||11|
In January 2013, the Company acquired frozen yogurt café assets, franchise rights and certain other assets from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (Nasdaq Global Market: 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 September 30, 2013, the Company and/or its franchisees and licensees operated 90 self-serve frozen yogurt cafés in 25 states. Additional information on U-Swirl, Inc. is available on the Internet at www.u-swirl.com.
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 September 30, 2013, the Company and its franchisees operated 355 stores in 42 states, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. 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. also owns a majority interest in U-Swirl, Inc.
Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements". These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and the Company undertakes 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 Company's 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 Company's control. Readers are referred to the Company's 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 Company's 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 Company's assumptions. The Company may change its intentions, beliefs or expectations at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in its assumptions or otherwise, and it undertakes 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 Company or persons acting on its behalf may issue.