• Canada's Afton Food Group to merge with Pizza Delight

BURLINGTON, ON -- Afton Food Group Ltd. (AFF-TSE "Afton") and Pizza Delight Corporation have entered into an agreement to merge.

According to a release, Pizza Delight's shareholders will receive approximately 28.5 million Afton shares, making them controlling shareholders (63 percent of its shares) of Afton.

Bernard Imbeault, CEO of Pizza Delight, will serve as the CEO and president of the merged companies.

Pizza Delight is a privately owned corporation, headquartered in Moncton, New Brunswick. It operates approximately 290 franchised and corporate restaurants under the brand names Pizza Delight, Mike's Restaurants, Le Coq Roti and Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza. It is Quebec's largest pizzeria operator in the home delivery segment.

Afton, based in Burlington, Ontario, operates approximately 400 franchised and corporate restaurants in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) market. Its brands included Robin's Donuts, 241 Pizza, Ruffage, Donut Delite Cafe and Mrs. Powell's Bakery Eatery. Its stores are in Canada, the United States and Saudi Arabia, and it operates a bilingual national call center for 241 Pizza in North Bay, Ontario.

The combined companies will operate and have under development more than 700 franchised and corporate outlets, generating an estimated $400 million (CAN) in systemwide sales, $60 million (CAN) in revenue and approximately $15 million (CAN) in EBITDA on an annualized basis.

According to a joint statement issued by Afton's CEO Robert Macdonald and Pizza Delight's Imbeault, combining the companies will place it among the top five restaurant companies in Canada, and that further acquisitions could be in the offing.

Following the merger, Pizza Delight and Afton will employ directly, and indirectly through its franchisees, approximately 12,000 people and will have operations in all provinces of Canada. The companies expect that new co-branding opportunities will develop from the merger.

Completion of the merger is subject to Afton obtaining regulatory and shareholder approvals, and the entering into of formal agreements and documentation relating to the proposed merger. There is no word yet on when the merger will be completed.

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