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TCBY Yogurt, Mrs. Fields Cookies Expands Internationally in Asia-Pacific Region

Mrs. Fields/TCBY logo

BROOMFIELD, Colo., May 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Famous Brands International, the parent company of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies today announced that it is rapidly expanding its footprint in the Asia-Pacific Region, with six recent store openings in China, Australia and Pakistan and an additional 25 locations set to open in these countries over the next two years. The company has also recently signed agreements to develop additional franchise locations in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, with the first four locations in Malaysia expected to open in June.

These openings and new franchise agreements demonstrate the significant international growth the TCBY and Mrs. Fields brands are experiencing and the strong global demand for both of the iconic dessert brands. The recent openings in China, Australia and Pakistan include:

  • TCBY in China: China's flagship TCBY Yogurt store opened April 19 in Shanghai. Franchise partners Laura Tzu and Bizhen Qi of Shanghai Zhentian Trading Company Ltd. will also spearhead the opening of 20 additional locations in the next two years. Beyond a self-serve store, the flagship location also specializes in building frozen yogurt cakes, serving yogurt novelties like yogurt puffs and cupcakes frosted with soft-serve yogurt and creating customized parfaits.
  • Mrs. Fields Australia: Long-time master franchisee Andrew Benefield opened his 32nd Mrs. Fields Cookies location in Western Australia's Joondalup, a Perth suburb, May 1. Previously connected to major US-based brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Caltex (Chevron Texaco), Benefield and Mrs. Fields Australia will open three additional locations by the end of 2014.
  • Dual-Brand Model Debuts in Pakistan: The international launch of the new TCBY and Mrs. Fields dual-branded store debuted in Karachi, Pakistan in recent months. The first three co-branded stores were opened by Alfeef Foods Pvt. Ltd., and two additional co-branded locations will open by the end of 2014 in Karachi.

"We are excited to set roots in the Asia-Pacific Region and look forward to continued growth and success in these markets and beyond," said David Bloom, Chief Operating Officer for Famous Brands. "Worldwide demand for our high-quality desserts is stronger than ever and we are seeking qualified franchise partners to be a part of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies' international expansion."

Key international growth markets for Famous Brands include India, Japan, South America and Mexico and Famous Brands is continually looking to partner with master franchise partners in these areas. With international sales up 10 percent system-wide, Famous Brands expects to open nearly 40 stores globally in 2014, including several new market launches.

Together, TCBY and Mrs. Fields have more than 900 locations in 33 countries. Mrs. Fields created the retail cookie industry in 1977 and TCBY pioneered the fro-yo industry in 1981. Consumer awareness exceeds 75 percent for both brands. Famous Brands is now focusing development efforts on dual-branded stores with a fresh new look. The stores offer three different revenue streams for owners: TCBY, Mrs. Fields and Mrs. Fields in-store gifting stations, inspired by MrsFields.com.

Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C., a leading private equity firm founded in 2006 with approximately $1.7 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management.

About Famous Brands International

Mrs. Fields Cookies:

Based in Broomfield, CO, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC dba Famous Brands International is the parent company to Mrs. Fields. Debbi Fields opened her first store in Palo Alto, California in 1977 and the Mrs. Fields name quickly became associated with warm, freshly baked cookies right out of the oven. Today, Mrs. Fields products are available at over 300 retail locations in the United States, nearly 100 locations internationally and online through http://www.mrsfields.com or by calling 1.800.COOKIES.
For more information on Mrs. Fields visit www.mrsfields.com.

About TCBY:

Based in Broomfield, CO, TCBY, The Country's Best Yogurt, has been a frozen yogurt innovator from the day its first shop opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981. With more than 650 locations in the United States and internationally, TCBY has long been a healthier alternative for consumers looking for a treat or snack. To learn more visit www.TCBY.com.

About Z Capital Partners

Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. ("Z Capital") is a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.7 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management and with offices in Lake Forest, IL and New York, NY. Z Capital pursues an opportunistic, value-oriented approach in private equity that includes making control investments in middle-market companies that may require growth capital, turnaround, restructuring or other special situations.

Z Capital portfolio companies currently have aggregate worldwide annual revenues of approximately $3 billion, sell products in 98 countries, and employs in excess of 200,000 associates directly and through joint ventures.

Z Capital's investors include prominent global sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices, wealth management firms and other financial institutions in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.zcap.net.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Bre Whalen, Fishman Public Relations, 847-945-1300 or bwhalen@fishmanpr.com

Source:Famous Brands International