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How sweet it is? BBX swallows up IT’SUGAR

Jeff Rubin, the gum-popping president and CEO of IT’SUGAR, strikes a pose near a mannequin in a candy dress and an array of other colorful products for kids. 2014 PHOTO BY CHARLES TRAINOR JR. / MIAMI HERALD
Jeff Rubin, the gum-popping president and CEO of IT’SUGAR, strikes a pose near a mannequin in a candy dress and an array of other colorful products for kids. 2014 PHOTO BY CHARLES TRAINOR JR. / MIAMI HERALD

With a growing sweet tooth for the candy business, BBX Capital Corp. announced Monday it has acquired the majority stake in South Florida-based candy retailer IT’SUGAR in a $57 million transaction.

Fort Lauderdale-based BBX previously acquired Hoffman’s Chocolates of Palm Beach County, and its Sweet Holdings unit holds a number of other candy makers.

IT’SUGAR, founded in 2006 and based in Deerfield Beach, is the largest specialty candy retailer in the United States with 95 locations in 26 states and Washington, D.C. During the 12 months ended April 30, IT’SUGAR generated net revenues of $78.4 million, BBX said. Jeff Rubin, IT’SUGAR’s founder and CEO, will remain in his current position and continue to hold “a meaningful membership interest,” BBX said.

With thousands of candy choices, “IT’SUGAR is not just a candy store,” said Rubin in a 2014 Miami Herald article. “We’ve really positioned ourselves as a gift store that lives at the intersection of attitude and fun. ... We sell humor, we sell fun.”

BBX said it now owns 93 percent of IT’SUGAR and plans to further expand IT’SUGAR by opening new retail locations in high traffic leisure locations. In South Florida, IT’SUGAR stores are at Miami International Airport, Aventura Mall, Sawgrass Mills and 10 other locations.

“IT’SUGAR has had great success expanding its presence across the United States as a modern day candy playground, and we are very pleased to partner with Jeff Rubin and the IT’SUGAR management team to support continued expansion of its retail footprint and grow the brand in other channels,”said Jarett Levan, president of BBX Capital, who called it an “excellent fit” with the growth strategy of BBX Sweet Holdings.

BBX is a diversified holding company that owns timeshare company Bluegreen Corp. and other joint ventures and investments in real estate. BBX Sweet Holdings invests in and acquires manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of chocolate and confectionery products, including Hoffman’s Chocolates, Anastasia Confections, Droga Chocolates, Williams & Bennett, Helen Grace Chocolates and Kencraft Confections.

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