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    Pretzel Time and Pretzelmakers Acquired

  • Industry News August 8, 2007
    NexCen Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: NEXC) announced today that it has acquired the assets of Pretzel Time Franchising, LLC (“Pretzel Time®”) and Pretzelmaker Franchising, LLC (“Pretzelmaker®”), which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC (“Mrs. Fields”). The combined purchase price for the transaction is $29.4 million, and consists of $22.1 million of cash, and NexCen common stock valued at approximately $7.3 million. These transactions double the number of brands in NexCen’s quick service restaurant portfolio, which also includes the premium, hand-mixed ice cream chains MaggieMoo’s® and Marble Slab Creamery®.

    As of June 30, 2007, Pretzel Time and Pretzelmaker had a combined 376 franchised or licensed units worldwide. Of those, 327 are in the United States, with the remaining 49 international locations located in six countries. For the trailing 12 months ended June 30, 2007, aggregate unaudited revenues for the Pretzel Time and Pretzelmaker brands were approximately $6.4 million. NexCen estimates that aggregate revenues for the two businesses for the full year 2007 will be approximately $6.7 million.

    Based upon the partial year of ownership, NexCen expects to recognize approximately $2.7 million of revenue from the businesses for the remainder of 2007. NexCen expects these transactions to be accretive in 2007 and, after integration into NexCen’s operations, to generate combined operating margins of approximately 60 percent consistent with NexCen’s expectations for its quick-service franchising operations.

    “Pretzel Time and Pretzelmaker are representative of the types of acquisition opportunities that NexCen has targeted to grow our quick-service vertical and to increase sales in our existing ice cream concepts," says Robert W. D'Loren, president and CEO of NexCen. "Our business model is based upon leveraging synergistic relationships between our brands to deliver value to our stakeholders. The addition of these companies to our QSR portfolio provides NexCen with an additional 376 doors for the delivery of quality branded products, and broadens our franchise offering for interested franchise investors.”

    “NexCen Brands’ acquisition of Pretzel Time and Pretzelmaker will enable Mrs. Fields to focus on our core business strategy, with the comfort and confidence that NexCen’s franchise model will continue to build these brands," says Stephen Russo, president and CEO of Mrs. Fields. "We’ll be exploring opportunities to invest in our remaining brand portfolio in accordance with our indenture requirements.” Nexcen will discuss this transaction in further detail in its Q2 earnings conference call scheduled for Friday August 10, 2007 at 9:00 am EST.