For franchisees, a new lender steps up to bat

CNN Money.com reports that a new player is charging into the arid landscape of banks willing to lend to franchise operators. Bancorp Bank, based in Wilmington, Del., said this week that it will launch a new program specifically targeting startup and expanding franchises.

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White House starts $21 million program to aid small businesses

David Cho of the Washington Post writes that in March 2009, President Obama vowed to address the drought of bank lending to small companies and announced an initiative to use $15 billion from the federal bailout to unfreeze the markets that finance Small Business Administration loans

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Papa Murphy’s Sold to Lee Equity Partners

New York-based private equity firm Lee Equity Partners has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the nearly 1,200 unit Papa Murphy’s Take ’N’ Bake pizza chain from its current majority owner, Charlesbank Capital Partners. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Lee Equity Partners is one of consortium of global private equity firms including Bain Capital Partners LLC, The Carlyle Group that own Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.

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Overseas Investors Brew Growth at Ann Arbor-based Bearclaw

Jaclyn Trop reports in the The Detroit News that when Debi Scroggins needed investors to grow her Bearclaw Coffee Co. franchise, she looked to the Middle East. The founder of the Ann Arbor-based coffee company has recruited nearly a dozen Iranians — with more to follow — to open mobile coffee carts in the United States at $180,000 a pop.

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Burger King Still Owes Whoppers of Debt

The latest reorganization could’ve been torn from the playbook of Gordon “Greed is Good” Gekko: A troika of private equity firms, lead by the likes of Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Funds, orchestrated a controversial public offering in May 2006 — but not before pocketing more than $700 million in fees and dividends. Financing this avarice was almost $1 billion in debt heaped on the balance sheet inherited by the new shareholders (and the equity funds still own a 32 percent stake, at an essential cost basis of pennies per share).

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Rubenstein: No $10 Billion L.B.O.’s Anytime Soon

Mr. Rubenstein, the Carlyle Group founder, told Bloomberg Television in an interview on Thursday that many of the elements are in place for a recovery in the leveraged buyout industry. But the big deals from the golden age remain highly unlikely: “If you want to do a $10 or a $20 billion buyout, I think that’s unrealistic in this day and age right now.” DDIFO Members may watch the video.

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