Choice Hotels agrees to buy Radisson for $675 million, along with other bold offers | Franchise mergers and acquisitions
On Monday, Choice Hotels International agreed to buy Radisson Hotel Group Americas for approximately $675 million, which includes nine brands, 624 hotels and more than 68,000 rooms. Expands Choice Hotels’ footprint in upscale and upper-midscale markets — which means more business travelers — in the Midwest and West Coast, and part of long-term acquisition strategy of Choice to expand into higher income segments. The agreement will also provide new growth opportunities for Choice to expand its presence in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Choice highlighted its commitment to fostering the success of Radisson franchisees, many of whom already have franchise agreements with Choice Hotels, and touted its loyalty program and emerging technologies that could help franchisees win more business, reduce hotel operating costs and reach new customers.
Los Angeles-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners announced that it was sold Hand and stone massage and facial spa to funds managed by Harvest Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed. LLCP invested in Hand & Stone in 2015 and helped it grow to nearly 550 locations in the United States and Canada with a membership base of over 500,000. This is LLCP’s fifth successful franchise exit since the start of 2021, including the sale of Mountain Mike’s Pizza in February this year and Caring Brands International, HomeVestors and Nothing Bundt Cakes in 2021, which won LLCP a Franchise Times Dealmakers Award. Hand & Stone signed 59 new franchise deals last year, half of which came from its system. Learn more about Hand & Stone’s recent growth strategy here.
Article 9 Laboratoriesfranchisor and operator of a cannabis dispensary, signed a purchase agreement Cannabis Sessions, one of the largest cannabis retail franchisors in Canada. The deal makes Item 9 Labs the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis franchise, the company announced. Founded in 2019, Sessions has 43 stores open, primarily in retail malls, across the province of Ontario, operated by 18 franchisees. Sessions plans to continue to grow across Canada and has several openings planned for this year. Item 9 Labs has acquired a Colorado-based company A group of cannabis in March 2021, parent company to cannabis dispensary franchise Unity Rd., which planned to merge with Cannabis One Holdings but fell through after regulatory hurdles. Unity Rd.’s franchise system has over 20 partners developing over 36 stores in approximately 10 US states. Steven Fry, CEO and co-founder of Sessions, noted that locations that have been open for more than a year have an average annual revenue of C$2.46 million.
FAT brands (Fresh, Authentic, Tasty) signed an agreement to acquire Nestle Toll House Cafe by chip peak foods and rebrand stores. Crest franchises approximately 85 cafes across the United States, which will be rebranded as Great American Cookies. This will expand FAT’s footprint in the dessert category and improve supply chain efficiencies and cost savings at its Atlanta-based manufacturing facility, which is a key growth initiative, according to Andy Wiederhorn, CEO of FAT Brands.
ellie sanity expands access to therapy through an investment of Princeton Action Group. Princeton Equity Group has also invested in International Group of Franchise Professionals, a franchise consulting firm with over 1,300 members.
North Carolina contractor Brent Sheena acquired a fast casual restaurant The big salad from the CEO Jean Bornoty, who founded the concept in 2008. Sheena plans to rapidly expand the health-conscious franchise, which has nine locations in Michigan and Texas, to 50 additional restaurants by 2025, starting with the opening of five new locations this year. Sheena also owns a Jamba Juice franchise in North Carolina and was drawn to The Big Salad because of its nutritious yet quick and convenient concept, which features salads, wraps, sandwiches, soups and more.
Central Line Partners Redeemed Seafood QSR Captain D of Sentinel Capital Partners. There are 545 restaurants in the Captain D’s system, including 253 franchised and 292 company-owned locations in the Southeast and Midwest United States. Center Line Partners bought Captain D’s in 2013 and sold the Nashville-based seafood chain to Sentinel in 2017. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sentinel has invested in several other restaurant franchises, including Border Foods, a major Taco Bell QSR franchisee; Checkers/Rally’s, the largest franchisor and operator of double QSR hamburger drive-thru in the United States; Falcon Holdings, a Church’s Chicken franchisee; Fazoli’s Group, an Italian restaurant chain; Huddle House, franchisor of family restaurants; Newk’s Restaurant; Southern California Pizza Company, the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in the greater Los Angeles market; and TGI on Friday. Learn more about Captain D’s recent growth spurt here.
New concept of esports franchise Valhallan acquired North American Esports League, with plans to expand the league nationally and internationally. With 100 teams in total, NAEL is the largest youth (under 15) esports league. Valhallan plans to expand NAEL’s reach across the globe, starting with the launch of the United Kingdom Esports League in the coming months. Valhallen, NAEL, UKEL and future leagues will come together to create Valhallan Holdings. The initial investment for a Valhallan franchise is around $52,950 to $201,400 in the United States
US-based veterinary clinic Easyvet closed on a $5 million Series A-1 funding round. The capital increase was led by Unavetsa portfolio of animal health investments supported by Oaktree Capital Management. With 19 locations open in eight states, Easyvet walk-in clinics offer wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite screening and prevention, microchipping and more. There are 27 locations in various stages of construction development. Easyvet plans to use the capital to benefit franchisees by increasing its clinical support resources, increasing its management tools, and improving technologies and the overall veterinary experience.
Conscious capital growthled by Heather Elrod, former CEO of Amazing Lash Studio, has invested in Main squeezing fruit juice company. Main Squeeze has 26 slots open and over 50 in development, and focuses on cold-pressed juices, smoothies, bowls, toast and more. Elrod and his business partner, C-suite Global Franchise Director Christo Demetriades, plan to accelerate the store’s growth by working with the family business and offering the wisdom and experience of a larger team, and not by coming in and taking over, Demetriades noted. Conscious Capital Growth will focus on accelerated sales, real estate development, training, marketing and innovation.
Fastlane Franchisean outsourced franchise sales organization, attracted majority investment from a private equity firm Southfield Capital. FastLane was founded by Ryan Zink and Carey Gille in 2017 and has awarded over 4,000 total territories in five years spanning various industries including residential and commercial services, fitness, child enrichment, automotive, health and wellness and business services. Zink and Gille will remain involved after the deal closes, with Gille continuing in his current role as CEO and Zink as an advisor to the board. Boxwood Partners provided sell-side advisory services to Franchise FastLane on the transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed.
Wag N’ Wash Natural Pet Food & Grooming refranchised five stores in Colorado to a Pet Supplies Plus franchisee. Wag N’ Wash has sold its former company-owned sites in Castle Rock, Littleton and three in Colorado Springs to Finnegan Dexter. Founded in 2018 and based in Lakeland, Florida, Finnegan Dexter is a seasoned pet retail franchisee and owns and operates nine Pet Supplies More stores in Florida, plus another in development. PSP bought Wag N’ Wash earlier this year in its first acquisition after being acquired by Franchise Group in 2021.
Benetendances bought DCV Franchise Group, which provides access and guidance for all traditional and SBA-backed loan products. Benetrends said the deal makes it the franchise industry’s largest and most comprehensive SBA team specializing in rollover as business start-up financing. Founded in 2004, DCV combines personal coaching, internal qualification and business development at executive level to identify financing solutions. DCV has placed over $3 billion in SBA financing on behalf of its clients over the past 20 years.