Expansion is in the wings for the owner of foodservice retail franchises Oporto, Red Rooster and Chicken Treat, with Craveable Brands announcing it has acquired Sydney-bred family business Chargrill Charlie's for an undisclosed sum.
Founded by the Sher family starting with a single restaurant in Coogee in 1989, the Chargrill Charlie's network has grown to 19 stores, mostly in Sydney except for two outlets in Melbourne.
With around 580 restaurants and 13,000 employees, Craveable Brands has been in the hands of Hong Kong-based PAG Asia Capital since 2019 when it purchased the group for an estimated $500 million.
Red Rooster represents more than half the group's total network and Oporto accounts for around 30 per cent, while the majority of Chicken Treat's 55 locations are in Western Australia.
Craveable Brands group CEO and director Karen Bozic says the company has long been an admirer of Chargrill Charlie's.
"We're delighted to be adding the Chargrill Charlie's brand to our stable and understand and respect the responsibility that comes with taking carriage of an iconic and much-loved brand," says Bozic, who joined the group in 2019 after working as GM for retail operations at Caltex, and GM for replenishment of food and liquor at Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW).
"Our first priority will be to work with Chargrill Charlie's franchise partners and their teams to continue providing customers with the wonderful Chargrill Charlie's service and food they expect and love.
"We are also pleased the current owners will continue to operate multiple franchise stores and support us at an executive level for at least the next 12 months as we chart the next chapter for the brand."
Bozic says Chargrill Charlie's fills market gaps to complement Craveable's existing chicken brands and locations.
"Through our passion for great food, hospitality knowledge, and networks across the food services industry, we see great potential to build on the Sher family legacy and share the magic of the brand with more Australians," she says.
Reflecting on their decision to sell the business, Chargrill Charlie's co-owners, Maon Sher and Saul Sher, say the sale marks a new chapter not only for the brand but for the family.
"We're proud of what we've built over more than three decades, including our reputation for innovative products and initiatives that span patented cooking technology and digital," says Maon Sher.
"This, together with our focus on team which has seen some team members stay with us since the day we opened our first store – with some, even opening up their own franchisee stores – has helped us to stay ahead of industry trends and satisfy the customers we serve."
Saul Sher highlights Craveable Brands' extensive business expertise and commanding national market presence.
"We value the opportunity to pass the reins to them," he says.
"Our commitment and dedication to our stores and people have been instrumental in building a distinctive, market leading brand with enduring customer loyalty, and we're confident that Craveable Brands is well placed to not only preserve our loyal customer base, but also drive further growth for the brand and the people associated with it."
The transaction is expected to be completed on or before 30 June 2023.
Chargrill Charlie's is advised by Monash Advisory and Arnold Bloch Leibler; and Craveable Brands by Maddocks and EY.
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