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WisePies gobbled up by investment group

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque-based WisePies Pizza & Salad has been acquired by Premium Brand Holdings LLC, a St. Louis-based investment group with diversified food interests, the local company announced Wednesday.

The price of the sale was not disclosed.

WisePies said in a statement that the transaction includes brand-related corporate operations, its franchise program, intellectual property and the franchise rights related to the three restaurants it has in Albuquerque.

“My 25-year career as a New Mexico business man and entrepreneur has been focused on high-tech industries and on developing Integrated Control Systems, my energy conservation-focused, automated building controls company,” said Steven B. Chavez, outgoing WisePies Pizza & Salad owner, in a prepared statement. “There is no place for mediocrity or lead-footed movement here. My focus will shift back to my technology-based businesses and onto growth plans for Mesa Del Sol.”

The new ownership will focus on franchise-model updates and further development and distribution of the frozen pizza line that has garnered recent, national interest from a large grocery chain, according to a news release.

WisePies had secured the naming rights for the Pit basketball arena in 2014 in a deal of 10 annual installments totaling $5 million. However, the University of New Mexico last year asked WisePies to relinquish the naming rights. The deal was terminated after 2½ years and three payments totaling $800,000.

WisePies Arena last spring became Dreamstyle Arena after Albuquerque company Dreamstyle Remodeling made a 10-year, $10 million commitment to UNM in a deal that also included naming rights to the Lobo football stadium.

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