WINGS CLIPPED AS EAGLE BOYS ENTERS ADMINISTRATION

WINGS CLIPPED AS EAGLE BOYS ENTERS ADMINISTRATION

THE Eagle Boys Australian Head Franchisor has entered into voluntary administration, with SV Partners called in to run the Brisbane head office on Thursday.

The 120 remaining franchisees will continue to trade as potential buyers are sought, and SV Partners investigate a restructure of the company.

"The Eagle Boys management team is looking forward to the prospect of growing the brand under new ownership and would like to thank Eagle Boys customers, franchisees and team members for their ongoing support during this time," the company has released in its official statement.

This comes after two years of unrest at the company.

Unhappy franchisees have aired their grievances publicly through the media, and Mitry Lawyers eight months ago began investigating a class action on their behalf.

It has been a sad fall from grace for a company that was for years considered a Brisbane success story.

Tom Potter founded Eagle Boys in 1987 in Albury, then opened the Brisbane head office in 1992.

Over 20 years he built the company into Australia's fourth-largest pizza maker.

He sold a majority stake to NBC Capital in 2007, which took the business on an aggressive period of growth.

It bought the Pizza Haven chain, implemented online ordering and scrapped the two-minute express pizza offering.

Potter initially remained involved in Eagle Boys as a consultant, but fell out with the new owners within two years.

By 2014, reports were emerging of unhappy franchisees and the company has been in unrest since that time.

Gold Coast-based Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), which owns Crust Gourmet Pizzas and Pizza Capers, is rumoured to be amongst those being approached to buy Eagle Boys.

Eagle Boys currently has the third-highest market share of pizza restaurants in Australia, with 4.6% of the market, behind Pizza Hut (10.70%) and Domino's (25%), according to IBIS World figures.

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