Atlanta franchisor to acquire Auntie Anne’s

An Atlanta-based franchisor has inked an agreement to acquire Auntie Anne’s Inc., the Lancaster-based pretzel-maker said today.

Terms were not disclosed for the deal with Focus Brands, which is expected to close by the end of November.

Focus, itself an affiliate of Atlanta-based private-equity firm Roark Capital Group, includes the Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Seattle’s Best Coffee brands.

Auntie Anne’s chairman and CEO Samuel R. Beiler will step down, but the company’s top three executives will remain, said Valerie Kinney, director of communications.

“(Beiler) knew that the timing was right for the company to go to the next level. It came down to him finding the right partner,” Kinney sad. “When Focus Brands entered into conversations (with us), he felt so good about their mission and values.”

Auntie Anne’s also plans to keep its headquarters and a 54,000-square-foot distribution facility in Lancaster County, she said.

No layoffs are anticipated as a result of the deal, Kinney said. The 22-year-old firm has 220 full-time and 119 part-time employees.

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