Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Carvel, Cinnabon parent has another in its sights

Look for FOCUS Brands, the parent of Carvel and Cinnabon, to make another acquisition within the next six months. A spokeswoman did not disclose what brands are being courted, but she commented that the private concern would like to add a "center-of-the-plate concept," a descriptor that would apply to a chicken, sandwich, burrito or pizza chain.

The spokeswoman indicated that the purchase would be part of the company's FOCUS 5 program, a drive to amass five foodservice companies with a total of 5,000 franchisees during the next five years.

FOCUS, a holding of the private equity firm Roark Capital, sees its universe of acquistion candidates as franchised brands that require a per-unit investment of $300,000 to $500,000. Roark bought Cinnabon from AFC Enterprises last November, combining it with Carvel, a frozen-treat chain it acquired in 2001 from Investcorp, to form FOCUS.

A few months ago, Roark bought a controlling interest in Mississippi-based McAlister's Deli, which is being operated separately from Atlanta-based FOCUS.


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