Private-equity firm Roark Capital announced that its company Focus Brands, a buyer of franchise chains, is acquiring Auntie Anne’s Inc., the franchising firm of the soft pretzel chain. The two parties have entered into a “definitive agreement” for an undisclosed amount. The deal is anticipated to conclude later in the fall.
With this acquisition Focus Brands has gone from more than 2,200 franchisees in its other eatery chains to 3,300. Pennsylvania-based Auntie Anne’s has nearly 1,100 franchised stores in 44 states and 21 countries.
With the addition of Auntie Anne’s, Focus Brands will be drawing royalties from six franchise brands generating more than $1.4 billion in annual system-wide sales. It oversees domestic brands such as Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
When franchising firms are bought, store owners can experience a new franchisor with dramatically different strategy, management and support.