CoolBrands International

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CoolBrands International
Traded as TSX: COB, COB.A
Industry Food Specialty Stores
Founded 1986 (Yogen Früz)
Founder Michael Serruya and Aaron Serruya
Headquarters Markham, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Michael Serruya, CEO
Products frozen foods, desserts
Services restaurant franchising
Website (archived)

CoolBrands International was a Canadian frozen food and dessert company based in Markham, Ontario.

Originally a frozen yoghurt vendor, CoolBrands acquired Eskimo Pie Corporation in 2000 and Chipwich in 2002. It acquired the Breyers and Light 'N Lively yoghurt brands from Kraft Foods.

Under the stewardship of Michael Serruya (President and CEO), CoolBrands held exclusive long-term licenses for brands including Weight Watchers, Godiva, Tropicana, Betty Crocker, Trix, Yoo hoo and Welch's.[citation needed]

The company encountered financial difficulties after losing the Weight Watchers/Smart Ones licence in 2004.[2]

In December 2005, Markham-based International Franchise Corp. acquired Yogen Früz, founded in 1986 by brothers Michael Serruya and Aaron Serruya, along with the CoolBrands franchise division[3] which includes the Swensen's ice cream restaurant chain.

By 2007, CoolBrands was selling off most or all of its core assets.

In February 2007, CoolBrands sold Eskimo Pie and Chipwich to the Dreyer's division of Nestlé.[4][5] Subsequently, that year, CoolBrands sold its DSD (Direct Store Delivery) business, at the time the second-largest in the United States. It sold its Whole Fruit business to J&J Snacks; it sold Breyers yoghurt (and its 175,000 square foot manufacturing facility in upstate New York) to Catterton Partners for $65 million.[6]

Stripped of its primary operating businesses in a 2007 meltdown but still listed as a publicly traded company, the CoolBrands corporate shell was merged with Swisher Hygiene Inc. in a 2010 reverse takeover. This allowed Swisher (a money-losing sanitation company) to inherit CoolBrands publicly listed status and balance sheet, which it used to embark on a 2011 corporate acquisition spree with many of the acquisitions paid for in company stock.