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Dealmakers Winners Believe Right Partner Matters More than Money


Mike Bidwell, left, and Dina Dwyer-Owens of The Dwyer Group, one of the Franchise Times Dealmakers award winners.

You’re not just hunting for capital, when looking for a new investor. You’re looking for a partner to build a bigger business. So said Greg Flynn, Flynn Restaurant Group, at a panel today featuring three winners of this year’s Franchise Times Dealmakers awards.

Flynn is the CEO of Flynn Restaurant Group in San Francisco, the $1.5-billion operator of Applebee’s and Taco Bell restaurants, who attracted the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund as an investor, bypassing the middleman. This was named Deal of the Year by Franchise Times judges.

Heidi Ganahl, founder of Camp Bow Wow and another panelist, said she’s heard all the horror stories about selling a company, but in her case has nothing but positives to say after attracting VCA Inc., a chain of veterinary hospitals, as an investor. She enjoys the ability to do more with her company now that she’s no longer bootstrapping it.

Mike Bidwell, the third panelist and CEO of The Dwyer Group, said carving $1 million out of the transaction and setting that aside to give bonuses to employees, helped to alleviate resentment that can occur when a company changes hands. Dwyer owns eight service brands, its latest acquisition being Five Star Painting.

The awards were presented at a gala luncheon Tuesday, the highlight of the Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, presented by Franchise Times in the Encore hotel in Las Vegas. The conference concludes Wednesday at 11 a.m.

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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