NEW YORK NexCen Brands Inc., based here, said Thursday it had agreed to acquire the 184-unit Maggie Moo's International LLC and the assets of the 336-unit Marble Slab Creamery Inc., consolidating the No. 2 and No. 3 brands in the premium hand-dipped ice cream category.
NexCen owns and franchises The Athlete's Foot brand, and in December 2006 entered into an agreement to acquire the rights to Bill Blass, a designer apparel brand.
NexCen has agreed to buy MaggieMoo's of Columbia, Md., for $10.8 million in cash and $5.3 million in NexCen stock. It agreed to buy Marble Slab of Houston for $16 million in cash and $5 million in seller notes, payable in either cash or stock.
Robert W. D'Loren, NexCen's president and chief executive, said: "These acquisitions will provide NexCen with two well-positioned brands in the hand-mixed premium ice cream category.
"With 520 existing stores and 225 stores in the pipeline on a combined basis, these two brands will place us solidly as the No. 1 player in quality and the No. 2 two player in the number of franchise units in the hand-mixed premium ice cream sector," he said. "We intend to grow these brands outside of the United States through our international franchise network currently operating in over 40 countries worldwide."
MaggieMoo's opened its first store in 1989 and has more than 150 franchises under development. Marble Slab opened its first store in 1983 and has 157 stores under development.
The leader in the premium hand-dipped ice cream category is Cold Stone Creamery of Scottsdale, Ariz., which has 1,400 stores worldwide.