Markham, Ontario-based frozen dessert manufacturer CoolBrands International has purchased the business and assets of Fruit-a-Freeze Inc, the Norwalk, CA based frozen fruit bar manufacturer.

Fruit-a-Freeze began making frozen fruit bars in 1977. The products are sold in supermarkets in 16 states, club stores in 21 states and South Korea and Taiwan, and convenience stores and impulse outlets in seven states.

The acquisition, closed on 30 June 2002, includes the Fruit-a-Freeze frozen novelty manufacturing facility in Norwalk, and its frozen distribution center and direct store delivery route distribution system.

CoolBrands' president and co-CEO, David J. Stein, stated: "The acquisition advances three strategic initiatives for CoolBrands. First, it enhances our portfolio of products in an increasingly consolidated category. Second, the frozen novelty plant secures additional production capacity to support increasing demand for key CoolBrands products. Third, the down-stream distribution system provides a solid footing for expansion in the impulse segment."