PIZZA CAPERS ACQUIRED FOR $30M

PIZZA CAPERS ACQUIRED FOR $30M

GOLD Coast based brandchisor Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG) has acquired the gourmet Pizza Capers franchise for $30 million.

RFG announced that it had entered into a conditional agreement to acquire 110 outlets in the Pizza Capers chain.

RFG chief executive Tony Alford, says it’s the perfect fit for RFG and that it could now position itself as a Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) player.

“Both parties are totally committed and we have been engaged in this for over 18 months,” says Alford.

“During this period it has become clear to RFG that Pizza Capers has distinguished itself within a highly competitive QSR segment and represents a brand that will both complement and enhance those franchise systems already under RFG stewardship”.

Settlement is expected in April and the acquisition takes the total number of RFG outlets to 1250.

“There is real strength and motivation. It’s (Pizza Capers) not just an excellent franchise system, but it has been built with a penetrating brand that is all about quality. It’s not a price driven product,” says Alford.

RFG will now seek to drive growth and a further 20 Pizza Capers stores will be rolled out this year.

Established by founders Anthony Russo and Scott Geiszler in the Brisbane suburb of Kenmore in 1996, the Pizza Capers system launched 12 outlets before embarking on a franchising program in 2005.

The result is 110 outlets predominantly based in South East Queensland (77) as well as regional Queensland (16), Victoria (7), NSW (3), ACT (2), South Australia (3), Tasmania (1) and Singapore (1).

Both Russo and Geiszler will remain with the business post settlement.

“We are excited by the opportunities that will be created for the system and its franchisees when incorporated within the infrastructure and sophistication that RFG offers and are committed to ensuring the system continues to flourish under RFG’s ownership,” says Russo.

"I am extremely excited by the opportunities this transaction brings to Pizza Capers, particularly to our franchisees, existing and future. The systems, processes and support structures to be brought to the business by RFG will supercharge our growth and operations. We are looking forward to working with RFG and continuing the Pizza Capers success story."

The transaction was based on a multiple of seven times Pizza Capers anticipated contribution (of $4.3m) to RFG FY13 EBIT.

RFG is the franchisor and property owner of the Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakeries, bb’s café and Esquires Coffee Houses.

Shares are trading slightly up at $2.70 a unit.

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