Firms announce controlling ownership in world’s largest Italian Ice concept
Wayne, PA (RestaurantNews.com) Argosy Private Equity and MTN Capital today announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in Rita’s Franchise Company, LLC based in Trevose, Pennsylvania (“Rita’s”) — the world’s largest Italian Ice concept — from Falconhead Capital. As part of the agreement, Kirk Griswold, Founding Partner at Argosy Private Equity, will join Rita’s board as Chairman and Jeff Moody will remain President and Chief Executive Officer. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Rita’s Italian Ice was founded in 1984 by former Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo, who made and sold Italian Ice from his small porch window alongside his mother Elizabeth and brother John. Since, the brand has grown exponentially and today has more than 600 locations in 30 states, and 4 countries. The franchise company was recently recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine’s “2016 Franchise 500” and Nation’s Restaurant News “Consumer Picks 2016,” and continues to aggressively expand across the U.S.
“Being Philly based, we know firsthand the love that guests have for Rita’s,” said Griswold. “Falconhead and the executive leadership team have done a tremendous job growing this once regional brand nationally, and even internationally. We’re looking forward to working with Rita’s management team and devoted franchise partners to continue the company’s growth and extend its guest loyalty and unique brand equity to each and every store, systemwide.”
For more information about Rita’s Franchise Company or to purchase your own Rita’s Italian Ice location, visit www.ownaritas.com.
About Rita’s Franchise Company
Ranked #33 overall in Nation’s Restaurant News “Consumer Picks 2016” in the Limited-Service category, Rita’s Franchise Company is the largest Italian Ice concept in the world with more than 600 stores in the U.S. The company is aggressively expanding internationally with operating locations in the Philippines, Canada and the Middle East. Rita’s, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., was also named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal’s “Startup Journal” and ranks #94 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s “2016 Franchise 500” list. For more information about Rita’s franchise opportunities, please visit: www.ownaritas.com.
About Argosy Private Equity
Argosy Private Equity (www.argosyprivateequity.com), founded in 1990, specializes in providing capital and operating and financial expertise to lower middle market companies across a broad range of industries. Argosy partners with motivated management teams investing in companies with sustainable competitive advantages and attractive growth prospects. Argosy Private Equity has $600 million in assets under management and is located in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
About MTN Capital
MTN Capital Partners LLC (www.mtncapital.com) is a private equity firm based in New York City, that focuses on lower middle-market companies. Founded in 2003, MTN has been associated with over $500 million in business acquisitions. MTN’s portfolio companies have been active in a variety of industries including retail, consumer products, and manufacturing.