REAL ESTATE

Burger 21 expands to Phoenix

BY Michael Fickes

Tampa, Fla. — Burger 21 has announced plans to expand in the Phoenix, market with franchise developments. The fast-casual restaurant is currently developing two Arizona locations in Scottsdale and Chandler. Both will open later this year. To date, Burger 21 has 12 open locations and 18 franchised restaurants in development across the country.

Burger 21 is seeking single- and multi-unit operators with restaurant experience to join its upscale fast casual dining concept. Franchisee candidates should have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $200,000 per unit.

Burger 21 plans to develop through both single-unit agreements and area development agreements. Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total investment for one restaurant to be approximately $416,133 – $933,895. The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.

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FINANCE

Coldwater Creek to seek liquidation, according to report

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Coldwater Creek Inc. is planning to liquidate its assets after a bankruptcy filing that is expected to come soon, Bloomberg News reported. The filing would come five months after the specialty women’s apparel retailer, which is based in Sandpoint, Idaho, said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Coldwater Creek was preparing to file for bankruptcy-court protection within approximately one week. The retailer carries about $353 million in total debt, which includes about $180 million in current liabilities, according to its most recent earnings filing, the report said.

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FINANCE

Jones Group approves merger with Sycamore

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Jones Group Inc. announced that its shareholders overwhelmingly voted to approve the company’s acquisition by Sycamore Partners.

Under the terms of the deal, Sycamore will acquire Jones for $15.00 per share in cash, or a total transaction value of approximately $2.2 billion.

"We are pleased to have received such positive shareholder support for the merger with Sycamore Partners,” said Wesley Card, CEO, The Jones Group. “We believe this transaction represents the best outcome for The Jones Group, our shareholders and the loyal customers of our brands, and we expect a seamless transition following the transaction close.”

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