Strauss Group is selling Max Brenner to the chain’s Israeli franchisees
The transaction includes sale of the ownership of the brand, the 3 restaurants in the US and the international franchise agreements
Strauss Group today announced the sale of the Max Brenner business, owner of the international chain of restaurants and “chocolate bars”, to the chain’s Israeli franchisees – Yaniv Shtanger and Dudu Vaknin. The agreement includes the sale of the Max Brenner business, including the brand, the chain’s restaurants in the US, the international franchise agreements and lease of the factory for a total amount of 5 Million USD. The factory in Beit Shemesh will remain the property of Strauss and will be leased by the buyer for five years with an extension option. The factory employees will continue working in their present jobs at the factory under the new ownership.
Strauss Group acquired the Max Brenner chain in 2001, six years after it was established by Oded Brenner and Max Fichtman as a manufacturer of premium chocolate marketed to points of sale. Since the acquisition Strauss Group stabilized the company, turning it into a chain of restaurants and chocolate bars that are one of a kind in Israel and worldwide. Over the years the chain expanded internationally and currently includes around 60 locations in six countries (Israel, Australia, Japan, the US, Russia and South Korea).
Strauss Group recently decided to sell the chain as part of its strategy to focus on the group’s core business. The Group chose to sell the chain to its Israeli franchisees, both of whom are former Strauss employees, in the belief that its sale to leading professionals in the restaurant trade who are closely acquainted with the chain will be beneficial to Max Brenner’s continuing global expansion and growth, as well as to fully capitalizing on its potential.
About Max Brenner
Max Brenner was established in Israel in 1995 by Oded Brenner and Max Fichtman as a manufacturer of premium chocolate marketed by the company to points of sale. Oded Brenner spent several years in the US and Europe studying to become a professional chocolatier, after which he opened his first store in Ra’anana. These were the modest and authentic beginnings in which the idea, and subsequently, the business plan, germinated: to change the way consumers perceive, touch and taste the chocolate experience by creating “a new global chocolate culture”.
Elite acquired Max Brenner in 2001, thus connecting Max Brenner’s entrepreneurial spirit and creativity with know-how, manufacturing and operational capabilities and professional management. From that point on, Max Brenner expanded its operations by leveraging its status as a business unit within Strauss, which took its brand global. In 2003 Max Brenner opened chocolate bars in Israel and expanded the combined food and chocolate concept into the US in 2006.
In 2012 Max Brenner merged its global operations in New York, adding senior executives who would support this expansion, including Giora Bar Dea, who managed Strauss’s entire operation in North America, and subsequently Mike Avner, Strauss Group General Counsel who serves as Max Brenner Chairman. Management focused on the chain’s development into additional countries, and in time, Max Brenner became one of the most prevalent chocolate bar chains in the world. In the past two years Max Brenner made the transition from operating loss to profit.
Max Brenner operates chocolate bars and restaurants, some wholly-owned by Strauss and others under a franchise. Each location features a small retail store on the premises, which offers the brand’s chocolate products in its internationally familiar creative packaging. The chocolate products sold in the stores are uniform, and all are manufactured in the company’s factory in Beit Shemesh, which employs around eighty people.
Today the brand has around 60 chocolate bars in central locations in six countries. All locations are uniformly designed and offer a unique chocolate menu, including beverages served in Hug Mugs, chocolate pizza, chocolate fondue and much more. The chain has become a favorite among leading celebrities in and outside the US and enjoys broad media coverage in all countries. Its menu has received special kudos such as “One of the Best Milkshakes in the US”, special awards for the chocolate pizza, and was even nominated for Best Food & Drink website.
Osnat Golan, 052-8288111
Gil Messing, 054-2525272