Famous Brands acquires controlling stake in Retail Group

AA – Famous Brands has acquired a 51% controlling stake in Retail Group (Pty) Ltd, Botswana (Retail Group), the Groups Master License partner in Botswana, marking the commencement of a new thrust in Famous Brands strategic growth programme.

Group Chief Executive, Kevin Hedderwick, explains, “This transaction aligns with our deliberate approach to either acquire or take a controlling stake in existing Master License territories in neighbouring countries whereby we can exercise complete influence over our brands. In addition, we want to test our mettle in company owned stores in advance of a potential broader foray into that arena. This transaction provides us with the opportunity to achieve both goals at minimum risk.”

“Famous Brands continues to set itself ambitious growth targets”, adds Hedderwick, “and this strategy affords us a strong new avenue for expansion.”

The purchase consideration falls below the threshold of a categorised transaction in terms of the Listings Requirements of the JSE Limited and will be settled from cash reserves. The transaction is subject to approval from the Competition Commission of Botswana.

Given the Groups critical mass in the region, opportunities will be investigated to provide the business with in-house logistics and manufacturing services, which are currently outsourced. The operation will also benefit from Famous Brands expanding brand portfolio.

Retail Group is currently owned by a consortium of investors, with the majority stake held by Craig Mackenzie, a long-standing business partner of Famous Brands and founder of Debonairs Pizza in 1991. Established in 2000, Retail Group comprises 19 company-owned restaurants and manages nine franchised restaurants across Botswana. The portfolio of brands includes Wimpy, Debonairs Pizza, Mugg & Bean, Milky Lane and Steers.

Hedderwick notes, “Retail Group is very well managed and a role model Master License business. The management and operational team, which are being retained, are exceptional and central to facilitating a seamless integration of the business into Famous Brands structure.”

Mackenzie comments, “This transaction fully aligns Retail Group with Famous Brands, thereby providing the business with more effective access to the extensive resources afforded by Africas leading franchise group. We believe that the resulting blend of skills and experience will culminate in strong growth opportunities for the operation in Botswana and beyond.”

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