Rita’s Franchise Company, the franchise company of the world’s largest Italian Ice concept, Rita’s Italian Ice, announced it completed a refinancing of the company’s debt with leading lenders SunTrust Bank and Spring Capital Partners. The refinancing comes on the heels of the company’s impressive growth plans that call for 100 new locations in 2015.
“Securing top lenders in such a competitive environment proves the strength of Rita’s Franchise Company,” says John Dombroski, chief financial officer at Rita’s Franchise Company. “Our new financing package will significantly lower Rita’s cost of debt and provide additional capital to support the company’s future growth initiatives. It’s a move that makes Rita’s even more attractive among industry franchise competitors.”
Rita’s Franchise Company ended 2014 with strong growth—opening 71 new Rita’s locations across 20 states. Among those, 31 stores were in California, an exciting growth area for Rita’s. Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota also represent attractive new markets for the company. While sustaining growth domestically and focusing on delivering quality and excellence, Rita’s continued its international expansion by opening its first store in Manila, Philippines. Beginning in 2015, Rita’s will initiate its fourth international master franchise agreement for the development of the Middle East.
“The recent growth of Rita’s Italian Ice has been tremendous,” says Jeff Moody, CEO of Rita’s Franchise Company. “We’ve proven that the Italian Ice concept and our mission of ‘ice, custard, happiness’ is one that resonates worldwide. What started on a front porch in Philadelphia is now an international franchise company with more than 600 stores. We couldn’t be more proud of our franchisees or excited about the future.”
“With our new banking partners, energized franchise base, and supportive ownership group in Falconhead Capital, we are perfectly positioned to continue to execute our strategic plan,” Moody adds. “It’s perhaps one of the most exciting times in the history of this beloved 30-year-old brand.”