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Shaquille O’Neal buys Krispy Kreme store

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Shaquille O’Neal has opened a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. (Getty Images)

ATLANTA — Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. added to its list of celebrity franchisee owners Monday, as basketball Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal has bought a downtown Atlanta shop.

O’Neal also agreed to become a spokesman for the company, which was taken private July 27 in a $1.35 billion buyout by an affiliate of German food company JAB Holdings Inc.

The location on Ponce de Leon Avenue has been the site of a Krispy Kreme shop for more than 60 years. Authentic Brands Group will be joint owner of the shop with Shaq Inc.

O’Neal said he is a lifelong fan of Krispy Kreme, which is headquartered in Winston-Salem, and shares his affection on social media.

“Krispy Kreme prides itself on spreading joy and supporting local communities, and that’s a cause that I am thrilled to be a part of,” O’Neal said in a statement.

O’Neal joins Jimmy Buffett (West Palm Beach, Fla..) as a celebrity franchise owner. The late Dick Clark was among the owners of the initial Krispy Kreme franchisee in the United Kingdom.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal