NexCen Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: NEXC – News) has expanded its franchised stores internationally through the opening of 43 stores to date in 2008 outside the U.S. and through the entry into multiyear agreements that provide for the opening of a minimum of an additional 160 stores in eight countries. Under the new international development agreements, the company will receive about $2.5 million in initial franchise fees, in addition to future franchise fees, store opening fees, and monthly royalty payments over the life of the agreements.
NexCen’s pipeline of letters of intent and franchise agreements for franchised stores to be opened both domestically and internationally increased to 394 stores at the end of the third quarter of 2008 versus 225 stores at the end of the second quarter of 2008.
The company’s quick-service division, which is comprised of Marble Slab Creamery, MaggieMoo’s, Pretzel Time, Pretzelmaker, and Great American Cookies, opened 22 new independently owned and operated franchised stores year to date outside the U.S., exclusive of the new agreements. Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s have entered into a new development agreement that calls for 40 stores to be opened in the United Kingdom over 10 years, which will be these brands’ first expansion into Europe. Marble Slab also has entered into an agreement that calls for 35 stores to be opened in Mexico over 20 years and an agreement that calls for five stores to be opened in Lebanon over seven years, the first of which opened in September 2008. Pretzelmaker signed an agreement that provides for 15 stores to be opened in Mexico over 15 years, and Great American Cookies signed a development agreement that provides for 30 stores to be opened in Mexico over 15 years. This is the first international agreement for Great American Cookies since NexCen purchased the brand.
“We are very pleased to have secured an opportunity to further increase our brands’ reach outside the United States with the signing of these new international development agreements,” says Kenneth J. Hall, CEO of NexCen Brands. “We believe that our franchise brands offer products and value that are attractive to an international audience. Co-branding options with our quick-service brands are helping to drive international expansion in both established and emerging markets.”