Duck Donuts purchased by investment partnership  

By on April 14, 2021

Iconic brand launched in Duck 14 years ago


NewSpring, a family of private equity strategies, announced on April 14 that along with Charlotte-based investment company Free Fenix, it has completed the purchase of Duck Donuts, an iconic donut brand launched in 2007 in the northern Dare County town of Duck by founder and CEO Russ DiGilio.

Today, the company operates one international and 101 U.S. franchise locations, including several other Outer Banks locations, across 21 states.

In a statement in the NewSpring press release announcing the sale, DiGilio says: “Duck Donuts could not be more excited to partner with the NewSpring team, who offer a wealth of knowledge and experience that will elevate our brand to the next level. The past 14 years have been an amazing journey and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the dedication, passion, and trust of our franchisees and corporate team members. I look forward to watching the brand continue to evolve and build on the success we have already achieved in such a short period.”

The release also stated that, “In conjunction with the deal…DiGilio, who remains a significant owner, has stepped down as CEO and named Betsy Hamm, formerly chief operating officer, to the role…DiGilio will continue in his founder role and serve as an integral member of the Duck Donuts Board of Directors, alongside Satya Ponnuru and Patrick Sugrue.”

“The acquisition of Duck Donuts is the second investment out of NewSpring Franchise,” the statement continued, “a newly-launched strategy led by NewSpring General Partners Satya Ponnuru and Patrick Sugrue, created to invest in capital-efficient, consumer-facing, multi-unit businesses with a strong customer value proposition, proven unit-level economics, and exceptional management teams in the lower-middle market. 

And apparently, with great donuts, too.





  • Rusty Shackleford

    Will they accept Bitcoin?

    Thursday, Apr 15 @ 10:54 am
  • Donut Guy

    Nice corporate speak. Just another Tim Horton’s now. They’ll ruin it, of course. *sigh*

    Thursday, Apr 15 @ 3:59 pm
  • Dan0

    I hope they keep making the donuts the same way. Over the years I’ve seen local restaurants bought out and the new owners changed everything. Most lost their business quickly. Please don’t pinch pennies and make Duck Donuts another Dunkin’ Donuts.

    Thursday, Apr 15 @ 5:12 pm
  • Grandyguy

    Krispy Kreme is still the best, always has been!

    Friday, Apr 16 @ 4:52 am