Foodservice Equipment Reports

Wetzel’s Pretzels Sells Majority Stake

The 310-unit Wetzel’s Pretzels snack chain was acquired September 8 by Dallas-based private-equity firm CenterOak Partners. The chain’s previous owners Leichtman Capital Partners exited after holding a majority stake for nine years. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. Wetzel’s CEO, Bill Phelps, will remain in his current role; co-founder Rick Wetzel, who focuses his day-to-day energies on Blaze Pizza, retains his seat on the company’s board of directors.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Wetzel’s has franchised locations in 28 states and six countries, and has been shifting from its traditional mall base to sites including Walmart Supercenters, transportation centers and street locations. About a quarter of the 22-year-old chain’s locations are kiosks, some of which have baking capability.