Famous Brands to Combine Mrs. Fields and TCBY in New Dual - Brand Concept

New Store Features Fresh Look, Offers Franchisees Three Separate Revenue Streams

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - April 30, 2014 // GLOBE NEWSWIRE // - Famous Brands International, which owns Mrs. Fields and TCBY, will almost exclusively develop newly-designed, dual-brand Mrs. Fields/TCBY locations as the company looks to significantly grow its international and domestic presence.

This move seamlessly pairs the two legacy brands under one roof and creates three streams of revenue for franchisees. In addition to sales from cookies and frozen yogurt, franchisees for the first time will be able to sell Mrs. Fields gift merchandise, which brought in $50 million for Famous Brands last year, right in the store. Dual-brand locations will devote retail space for gift products and include all-new online ordering kiosks, known as Mrs. Fields Gifting Stations, which let customers browse and send gifts to friends, family and business associates through MrsFields.com.

"Our new dual-brand Mrs. Fields/TCBY concept is the biggest thing to happen to either brand since Debbi first picked up a cookie pan," said Famous Brands CEO Neal Courtney. "This will propel our global growth, create more revenue streams for franchisees and provide consumers with access to their favorite treats not available anywhere else."

The new store design, the first of which opens in Houston in June, represents the next evolution for the two storied brands. A handful of co-branded Mrs. Fields/TCBY locations currently are open, but do not integrate the two brands to the extent of the new concept, which contains equal branding elements of both TCBY and Mrs. Fields, a single point of sale and will even offer new treats that unite both brands, such as cookie-and-yogurt sandwiches and Mrs. Fields brownies mixed in frozen yogurt.

Domestically, Famous Brands is seeking franchise partners to develop dual-brand locations throughout the country, including key markets such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix, among others. Strategic international growth markets for Famous Brands include South America, Mexico, India, Japan, UAE and most of Europe. Together, TCBY and Mrs. Fields have more than 900 locations in 33 countries.

Total initial investment for a dual-branded store ranges from $150,000-$450,000 depending on unit size. Although the new locations will fully represent both brands from menu items to branding, the franchise fee is $35,000, the same as traditional TCBY franchises, meaning the Mrs. Fields $25,000 franchise fee is essentially waived.

Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C., a leading private equity firm founded in 2006 with approximately $2 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management.

For more information on the dual-brand franchising opportunity, visit http://franchise.tcby.com/.

About Famous Brands International

Mrs. Fields Cookies

Based in Broomfield, CO, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC dba Famous Brands International is the parent company to Mrs. Fields. Debbi Fields opened her first store in Palo Alto, California in 1977 and the Mrs. Fields name quickly became associated with warm, freshly baked cookies right out of the oven. Today, Mrs. Fields products are available at over 300 retail locations in the United States, nearly 100 locations internationally and online through http://www.mrsfields.com or by calling 1.800.COOKIES.For more information on Mrs. Fields visit www.mrsfields.com.

About TCBY

Based in Broomfield, CO, TCBY, The Country's Best Yogurt, has been a frozen yogurt innovator from the day its first shop opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981. With more than 650 locations in the United States and internationally, TCBY has long been a healthier alternative for consumers looking for a treat or snack. To learn more visit www.TCBY.com.

About Z Capital Partners

Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. ("Z Capital") is a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.7 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management and with offices in Lake Forest, IL and New York, NY. Z Capital pursues an opportunistic, value-oriented approach in private equity that includes making control investments in middle-market companies that may require turnaround, restructuring, bankruptcy or are otherwise special situations.

Z Capital's investors include prominent global sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices, wealth management firms and other financial institutions in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.zcap.net.

SOURCE Famous Brands

Media Contact:

John Arango
Fishman Public Relations
847-945-1300
jarango@fishmanpr.com

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