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Cosi, Inc. (COSI) Sells 13 D.C. Restaurants to Franchisee

Cosi, Inc. recently announced the sale of 13 restaurants to Capitol C Restaurants LLC for $8.4M. The restaurants, located in the Washington D. C. market, will function under a franchise operation agreement signed by both parties, and Capitol C has also begun a development agreement for the opening of an additional 6 restaurants in the D.C. market.

Cosi operates a leading nationwide chain of premium convenience restaurants specializing in select foods based on a secret recipe for deliciously shattering-crust flatbread handed down through the generations. This artisan bread is baked in front of customers in prominently located stone hearth ovens, creating a warm and urbane atmosphere which attracts the largely sophisticated, upscale clients.

That $8.4M breaks down in the following way, in accordance with terms set forth in the Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement: $6.4M paid at closing; $1.4M pursuant to a 3-year note; and $0.6 held in escrow pending the satisfaction of specific conditions.

CEO of Capitol C, Richard Pawlowski, who has vast experience handling multiple-unit restaurants, commented on the unique and exciting opportunity with Cosi and praised their “delicious food, innovative menu and a great casual ambience” as a winning ticket to consumers’ hearts, and expressed his anticipation over working with Cosi to grow the brand and acquire more of the D.C. market with these welcoming, comfortable and eclectic restaurants.

President and CEO of COSI, James Hyatt, expressed his great pleasure over the deal, and at having someone of Pawlowski’s caliber join the team, because in the hectic and challenging restaurant business it is often such experiential knowledge which means the difference between success and failure.

Hyatt went on to extol the merits of Pawlowski, calling him a “seasoned operator and developer who fully understands the D. C. market”, saying Pawlowski aligned perfectly with the Company’s idea of a “perfect franchisee”, and noting that – as Cosi continues to operate a network of 11 company-owned locations in the greater D.C. area – the Company looks forward to working hand in hand with Pawlowski to grow the brand identity and extend market penetration in the D.C. area.

Hyatt characterized this transaction as a skilled, strategic move, consistent with the overarching goal of assembling an efficient group of experienced operators with proven abilities, who can seize the opportunity, when presented, by identifying premier growth areas and execute development of successful restaurants.

Hyatt also made a point of noting that the transaction is confirmation of the Company’s ability to attract the finest quality franchisees, which reinforces confidence in the growth potential of the brand and provides essential working capital that can be used to stimulate revenue growth and drive shareholder value to new heights.

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