PASADENA, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 6, 2016) - Wetzel's Pretzels, the innovator in the fresh-baked pretzel category, today announced that CenterOak Partners, a leading Dallas-based private equity group with significant consumer brand, business service and industrial sector holdings, has purchased a majority stake in the company. Wetzel's CEO, Bill Phelps, will remain in his current role, with co-founder Rick Wetzel retaining a seat on the company's board of directors.
The sale brings to a close Levine Leichtman Capital Partners' investment into the brand, which took place in 2007. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners secured seven times its original investment on the deal.
Wetzel's Pretzels 2016 highlights include:
- YTD same store sales increase of 6.7%
- System wide sales estimated at $165 million
- Being named one of the "Next 20" by Nation's Restaurant News
- The opening of flagship locations in Manhattan's Fulton Center and the Mall of America
"From rolling the first Wetzel's Pretzel in our kitchens more than 23 years ago, our vision of serving fresh, delicious pretzels in a fun atmosphere has remained the same," said Bill Phelps, Wetzel's co-founder and CEO. "We're thrilled to have found a business partner in CenterOak Partners that believes in that vision, and understands our top priority is the profitability of our franchise partners."
Wetzel's Pretzels currently operates more than 300 company-owned and franchise locations in 28 states and six countries. For more information, visit www.wetzels.com, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ wetzelpretzels for fresh-twisted treats.
About Wetzel's Pretzels
Armed with a vision and a tasty recipe for soft pretzel perfection, Bill Phelps and Rick Wetzel opened the first Wetzel's Pretzels bakery in Redondo Beach, Calif., in 1994. Long lines of hungry customers soon formed, attracted by mouth-watering soft pretzels that were hand-rolled, baked fresh and served hot from the oven. As word spread about these golden-on-the-outside pretzels, the company added additional offerings to its menu. Today, Wetzel's Pretzels has grown to more than 300 fresh bakeries across the United States and around the world, including premier locations at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Every Wetzel's Pretzels bakery adheres to the original vision of its founders; that each super-premium pretzel will be crafted from fresh dough and baked in-store consistently throughout the day, to ensure a delicious offering for each consumer, regardless of when the craving for a pretzel strikes. For additional information on Wetzel's Pretzels or franchise opportunities, please visit the website, call (626) 432-6900, "Like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.