MTY to buy yogurt chain sweetFrog for $35M

The deal gives the Canadian brand collector another frozen yogurt chain.
Photograph courtesy of sweetFrog

Canadian restaurant brand collector MTY Food Group said Tuesday that it is buying 300-unit frozen yogurt chain sweetFrog for $35 million.

But there is one part of the company MTY is not buying: its 78 company-owned restaurants, which will remain under current ownership, Boxwood Capital, as the brand’s largest franchisee.

MTY already owns the Canadian operations of yogurt chain TCBY as well as the U.S. brand Pinkberry among the more than 70 brands it operates in the two countries.

“SweetFrog is an exciting brand serving premium quality frozen yogurt and will fit perfectly within our portfolio of brands,” Jeff Smit, chief operating officer of MTY’s U.S. operations, said in a statement. “We are extremely happy about everything this brand has to offer and the growth potential ahead.”

SweetFrog was one of a generation of frozen yogurt concepts that emerged out of the recession. The Virginia-based concept was founded in 2009 and has been growing quickly ever since.

The chain now operates 324 U.S. locations, 254 of which are franchise-operated. That’s up from a total of 292 locations at the end of 2016, according to Technomic.

The company has generated $92 million in system sales over the past 12 months, according to MTY.

The sale is expected to close within 30 days.

Patrick Galleher, chairman and CEO of sweetFrog and managing partner of Boxwood, called MTY “the perfect organization to lead sweetFrog during its next chapter of success.”

“I am excited to see what Smit and his team of restaurant industry experts can do as we become the largest sweetFrog multiunit franchisee,” Galleher said in a statement.

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