The CEO of Guzman y Gomez has categorically rebuffed a report by The Australian Financial Review suggesting the Mexican food chain was considering a merger with rival Zambrero.
In a statement, GYG’s co-founder and CEO Steven Marks says there is “absolutely no truth to that report” which detailed whispers about how investment banks were considering merging the two fast-food chains as part of a strategic review of Zambrero.
“GYG isn’t stopping anytime soon,” Marks says.
“We have some huge plans and goals to achieve and I look forward to remaining as focused as always in achieving these goals together (without distraction).”
Founded in 2006 in Sydney by New York-raised childhood best friends Steven Marks and Robert Hazan, GYG has since become a major player in the multicultural tapestry that is the Australian fast-food sector.
Over the past 16 years, GYG has grown to more than 170 restaurants in four countries, and has a staff headcount of more than 10,000.
“GYG has no need, no desire, and no intention of undertaking a merger with any other business,” Marks says.
“Others putting ‘rumours’ into market to prop themselves up is an unfortunate and mildly comical distraction which should not gain any further traction as it’s simply not true.
“GYG is one of a handful of Australian businesses to become a 'unicorn' with a private valuation of over $1 billion.”
RELATED: The rise of Guzman y Gomez: the making of a global brand
In his statement, Marks says the company is profitable and well-capitalised, and is aiming to open at least 30 drive-through restaurants in Australia this year and then 40 more per financial year thereafter for “at least the next 10 years”.
The rumours come just over two months after Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG) made a $34 million profit on the sale of its 11.6 per cent interest in the fast-food chain after offloading the shares for $140 million to a group it partially owns.
The sale to an entity of Barrenjoey Capital Partners, in which Magellan has a 40 per cent stake, was made with the intention of seeding an investment trust comprising high-net-worth investors.
When Magellan initially paid $95.4 million for its stake at the start of 2021, it was accompanied by a separate investment by Athletic Ventures, founded by Aussie rules footballer Matt de Boer of the GWS Giants.
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