Domino's Pizza has refranchised 26 company-owned stores in the Minneapolis market to franchisee Bill Graves' Ultimate Challenge LLC. With the acquisition, Ultimate Challenge becomes the third-largest U.S. Domino's Pizza franchise, operating 73 stores in six states.

Graves opened his first Domino's Pizza store in 1985. Since that time, he went on to open 46 more, and now operates stores in Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Graves said all current store employees are eligible to retain their positions within his franchise. No stores will be closed as a result of this sale; instead, Graves intends to use this investment as a way to grow further in this market.

"The strength of Domino's Pizza is its franchise system," said Scott Hinshaw, executive vice president of Franchise Operations and Development. "Throughout our history, we have strategically refranchised corporate stores where it makes sense. Minneapolis is an important market for us and we are pleased that Graves has decided to further invest in this market with this purchase."

With this transaction, Domino's Pizza LLC operates 429 company-owned stores throughout the U.S., or less than 5 percent of its global stores.


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