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Parent of Cold Stone and Blimpie to be acquired

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Kahala Brands, franchisor of Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie, Pinkberry and a number of other quick-service restaurant concepts, has agreed to be acquired for about $301 million by MTY Food Group, a move that provides the Canada-based buyer with a firmer foundation for growth within the U.S. market.

MTY agreed to pay $240 million in cash and 2.3 million stock shares, which had a value in U.S. dollars of $61.4 million at the time the deal was announced.

MTY had been on the hunt for a U.S. growth conduit for three years prior to landing on Kahala Brands, MTY CEO Stanley Ma said in a statement. The company already has a toehold in the U.S. through its Extreme Pita and Mucho Burrito brands, which it acquired in 2013.

“The combination of the two companies' portfolio and expertise will produce tremendous opportunities in Canada, in the United States and worldwide," Ma said.

MTY franchises 40 restaurant concepts, primarily in Canada.

Upon completion of the deal, MTY’s U.S. headquarters will transfer to Kahala Brands’ home base in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Kahala Brands went on an acquisition tear last year, scooping up several brands, including Pinkberry, Maui Wowi, Planet Smoothie and Tasti D-Lite.

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