Burgerfuel Welcomes American Investor
BurgerFuel Worldwide (BFW) has signed an agreement with US company, Franchise Brands, LLC (FB), who will join BFW as a shareholder and franchise advisor. FB was created in 2005 with the support and guidance of the founders of SUBWAY® restaurants, Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck, in order to invest in and offer guidance to small and mid-market companies with experienced management that are seeking to expand their businesses. SUBWAY® restaurants is the largest single brand restaurant chain in the world with over 40,000 franchised stores in more than 100 countries.
BFW and FB have also entered into an agreement in which it is intended that FB will collaborate with BFW to grow the business by providing knowledge and support as well as global development opportunities, including in the United States where BurgerFuel plans to open restaurants.
FB will buy an initial 10% stake in BFW with an option to increase its holding up to 50% over 8 years. The stock is guaranteed by Mason Roberts Holdings Limited (MRH) the largest BFW shareholder with a current holding of 80%. The initial 10% stake will comprise a $5.9M placement of new BFW shares and the purchase of $2.16M of shares from MRH. The purchase price is $1.35 per share, the trading price when discussions were first initiated in April last year. BFW confirmed the deal, including due diligence, was complete and it is anticipated that shareholder approval will occur shortly.
BFW Chairman Peter Brook said “This is extremely positive for the future of BurgerFuel. It’s an incredible opportunity for the company and very exciting for all our shareholders. Bringing on board a strategic investor with major distribution, experience and unsurpassed global reach will drive significant value for BFW over the coming years. We are delighted for all of our shareholders.”
BFW Group CEO Josef Roberts said that “This gives us the opportunity to turbo charge our business by going into the US and other countries, alongside the largest franchise company in the world. BurgerFuel will retain control over its unique brand and operating style and we will remain a publicly listed New Zealand company.”
Roberts said the agreement was negotiated directly with Lisa Oak - FB Managing Director and Vice President of Franchise World Headquarters LLC. “I met with Fred [DeLuca] and Lisa early last year, since then we’ve been working together to conclude the deal, which we are all pretty excited about. This is a major event in the history of BurgerFuel.”
BurgerFuel Founding Director Chris Mason said “Our vision and objective was always to develop the brand globally and build a big business. We want to make BurgerFuel a household name around the world like it is in New Zealand and like it’s becoming in the Middle East. We’re only just getting started”.
The deal will see BFW with cash reserves of around $9-10M. The company has no debt.
A date for the BFW Extraordinary General Meeting for shareholders to approve the deal will be notified shortly.