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    Hot Stuff Foods Acquires Lettieri's

    The foodservice provider doubles its enterprise value and expands line to over 500 products through buyout.

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Hot Stuff Foods LLC announced Wednesday its nearly $30 million acquisition of Shakopee, Minn.-based Lettieri's Inc., a leader in convenience store foodservice with concepts in more than 40,000 locations in all 50 states.

    The senior management of both companies completed a management buyout of Lettieri's, folding the foodservice solutions provider into the Hot Stuff portfolio of brands. The transaction is being funded in part by Hot Stuff's partner, Allied Capital.

    "The Lettieri's transaction solidifies Hot Stuff's leadership position within the 'on-the-go' food category and establishes an even greater daypart dominance for our brand," said Des Hague, chairman, president and CEO of Hot Stuff Foods. Furthermore, he noted, "(this) significantly increases our market reach and presence within the c-store channel by adding established menu items and broadening our distribution channels."

    During a conference call, Hague told CSNews Online that over the last several years, the company has been aggressively building its brands by making its turnkey solutions even more turnkey and giving customers greater daypart dominance. By acquiring Lettieri's, he said Hot Stuff is now able to provide one of the most expansive product lines in the c-store industry, featuring over 500 products and numerous food programs and formats.

    Going forward, Hot Stuff plans to:

    -- Introduce Lettieri's customers to its "one-stop" menu offering that includes pizza, gourmet sandwiches, cinnamon rolls and broader ethnic and bread products.

    -- Offer existing and prospective Hot Stuff franchisees and licensees an expanded menu that includes Lettieri's established breakfast, lunch and roller grill solutions.

    Lettieri's, founded in 1994, produces branded and private-label products, including breakfast sandwiches, enrobed hot dogs, stuffed baguettes, calzones, burgers and breadsticks. Products are shipped frozen and ready-made and require only microwave, oven cooking or radiant heat (roller grill) to serve.

    "The combined offerings are very complementary," Hague said. "We are very excited not only with what Lettieri's brings to Hot Stuff's franchise partners, but also with the new and innovative programs and products we can offer to Lettieri's distributors and retailers."

    Based on the value of this acquisition, he said Hot Stuff effectively doubles its enterprise value. Hot Stuff franchises and/or licenses its branded food concepts in approximately 1,600 locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.

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