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Global Expansion

Where in the world are franchise companies going



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The first Home2 Suites by Hilton outside the U.S. has opened its doors in Queretaro, Mexico. The four-story, 97-suite hotel will cater to both business and leisure travelers, according to the company, due to its location in a trendy suburb of Queretaro. The hotel is owned by Immoviliaria Canel’s S.A. de C.V. and managed by Hilton. Home2 Suites is Hilton’s mid-tier, extended-stay brand.

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Also targeting Mexico is Doc Popcorn. The Boulder, Colorado-based company signed a 60-unit agreement with husband and wife partners, Rene Garza Pena and Mariana Mendoza, and their operating partner Antonio Cazares Aquirre. The first location is slated for Monterrey. One of the reasons Mexico is Doc Popcorn’s first international site is that “Mexico is the largest U.S. popcorn export market,” according to Rob Israel, co-founder of the company. Garza Pena, who has a master’s degree in operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell, is also the owner of a quality-management consulting firm, and his wife owns a diet-and-exercise practice in Mexico. Their operating partner has a law degree and an MBA.

Since launching the franchise in 2009, Doc Popcorn has opened 80 locations in 25 states.

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And yet another Mexican signing: InterContinental Hotels Group and Auteles Kalionchiz S.A. de C.V. is opening the first Holiday Inn Hotel in Coahuila, Mexico, and the fifth IHG-branded hotel in the state.

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Immobiliare Fontana S.A., an almost 90-year-old firm in Luano, Switzerland, has joined the Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates network. Sotheby’s was already represented in other locations across Switzerland by deRham Sotheby’s, which has offices in five cities. Sotheby’s International has more than 670 offices in 49 countries and territories worldwide.

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Another real estate franchise, Century 21, meanwhile, has signed four new international agreements in Austria, Croatia, Kosovo and Slovenia. The Madison, New Jersey-based franchise has a presence in 74 countries and territories.

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Serious Canadian bodybuilders can now get their workout in their home country.  Shehzad and Azhar Khan have signed a development agreement with World Gym for 16 fitness centers in the Greater Toronto area over the next seven years.

World Gym was founded in 1976 during the glory days of “Muscle Beach” in Santa Monica, California. It has 180 franchised locations in 14 countries.

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Pro Marial Arts licenced four schools in the Toronto area of Canada. This is the 145th license the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, company has awarded so far.

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Wayback Argentina S.A. will be flipping burgers at 30 new locations of Jake’s Wayback Burgers, after signing a deal for Argentina, one of the world’s top beef-consuming countries. Leonardo Llamas Trivi and his father, Francisco Llamas, are the franchisees. Llamas Trivi, 32, who has civil and industrial engineering degrees and an MBA, will serve as president.

 

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