Franchise Times today announces winners of the 2022 Franchise Times Dealmakers awards, the tenth annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising.

Award winners will be featured in the May issue of Franchise Times, when the 2022 Deal of the Year will also be revealed. A virtual awards presentation will highlight Franchise Times Dealmakers Week April 25-28, a new online forum featuring top dealmakers sharing their growth strategies.

DEALMAKERS OF THE YEAR 2022 (in alphabetical order)

Driven Brands went public on January 14, 2021, with Roark Capital exiting, and allowing Driven to acquire its 100th car wash and also focus on the quick-lube business.

FAT Brands completed in 18 months approximately $917.5 million in strategic purchases and now has combined system sales of $2.2 billion, including Global Franchise Group, Twin Peaks, Fazoli’s and Native Grill & Wings.

Flynn Restaurant Group bought 937 Pizza Hut and 194 Wendy’s restaurants from NPC International for $522.5 million. Advised by The Cypress Group, NPC sold the remaining Wendy’s to five existing franchisees, including 54 stores in NC to Delight Restaurant Group.

Franchise Group Inc. acquired Pet Supplies Plus; sold Liberty Tax to NextPoint Financial in a SPAC deal; acquired Sylvan Learning; and acquired W.S. Badcock.

HorsePower Brands acquired Mighty Dog Roofing, Blingle, iFoam Insulation, Franchise Rocket and Heroes Lawncare since starting in late 2020.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners acquired Tropical Smoothie Café; and sold Nothing Bundt Cakes, Caring Brands and HomeVestors after driving average EBITDA growth by 3.5X.

Meritage Hospitality Group, the largest Wendy’s franchisee, signed a 50-store development agreement with options to build 150 more Taco John’s, the largest development deal in Taco John’s 50-plus year history.

MUY Cos., with 755 restaurants and led by James Bodenstedt, sold to six different franchisees for more than $1 billion, the second largest QSR sale ever consummated. Advised by Auspex Capital.

Pacific Bells, led by co-founder and CEO Tom Cook with more than 250 Taco Bell restaurants, attracted private equity firm Orangewood Partners as an investor. Advised by Trinity Capital.

Princeton Equity Group acquired seven franchisors since July 1, 2020, for $175 million total enterprise value, including D1 Training and Card My Yard, and backed Five Star Franchising to make its own additional acquisitions.

SOAR Restaurants, a Sonic franchisee formed in late 2020, executed a franchisee roll-up of 18 separate acquisitions in the system, totaling 96 restaurants in 13 states. Led by Al Bhakta and CMG.

Xponential Fitness went public on July 23, 2021, raising $120 million on the New York Stock Exchange, and subsequently acquired Rumble and Body Fit Training.