Bain Capital and Retail Zoo founders Janine and Jeff Allis have acquired multi-brand franchise company Retail Zoo from The Riverside Company, which has sold its majority stake. Retail Zoo’s brands include Boost Juice Bars, Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill, Cibo Espresso and Hatch Chicken Soup. Jeff, the company’s executive chairman, and Janine, executive director, will remain heavily invested in the business and, along with Scott Meneilly, chief executive officer, continue to run the business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Bain Capital and Retail Zoo founders Janine and Jeff Allis today announced the completion of the acquisition of Retail Zoo, a leading multi-brand franchise player.
Retail Zoo’s leading brands include Boost Juice Bars, Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill, Cibo Espresso and Hatch Chicken Shop. The company operates 294 stores in Australia and 100 international stores in 9 countries.
The company was previously owned by private equity firm The Riverside Company, which had a majority shareholding, and the business founders. It will now be indirectly owned by the founders and funds advised by an affiliate of Bain Capital.
Jeff Allis (Retail Zoo Executive Chairman) and Janine Allis (Executive Director) will remain heavily invested in the business and, along with Scott Meneilly (CEO), will continue to manage the business operations.
Financial terms of the acquisition remain confidential.
For Bain Capital, Retail Zoo represents its second major investment in Australia following the investment in accounting software group MYOB in 2011, and is one of many investments the firm has made in the retail and consumer space globally. Bain Capital will support Retail Zoo’s growth opportunities with capital, strategic and operational expertise.
Bain Capital brings global Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) experience through previous investments in Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Brands, Burger King, and Bloomin’ Brands (which includes Outback Steakhouse, Fleming’s, Bonefish Grill and Carrabba’s Italian Grill).
Craig Boyce, a managing director at Bain Capital, said: “Retail Zoo is highly aligned with our Australia investment strategy – leveraging our global QSR experience and a platform for international expansion. It participates in attractive QSR categories with leading market positions, very strong brands, solid customer relationships and numerous opportunities for further growth. We plan to work with the founders and management to build on their superb record of achievement.”
Retail Zoo Founder and Executive Director Janine Allis said: “After our first meeting with Bain Capital, we knew we had met the partner that can assist us in our growth strategy and from the start of the process was our preferred partner. We are looking forward to working alongside Bain Capital to continue to grow Retail Zoo into a world class QSR business.
“Since we opened our first Boost store in South Australia in 2000, the group has evolved in a number of exciting ways, so that we now have the brand represented in countries such as Malaysia, South Africa, UK and Singapore through master-partner agreements with Boost International. I am sure that the next phase of evolution will be just as exciting.”
Boyce added: “We see an exciting opportunity to build on Boost’s strength as the leader in the Australian food and beverage market, with further health-oriented product innovation and site expansion beyond the traditional mall locations into universities, train stations, airports and petrol stations.
“In addition to Boost, Retail Zoo has three, young, compelling concepts to grow the business, leverage the QSR platform and create further franchisee opportunities via enhancing Salsa’s offering, in the fast-growing Mexican category, expanding Cibo, South Australia’s favourite coffee, into other states and developing Hatch, an innovative rotisserie chicken experience starting in Victoria.”
Retail Zoo CEO Scott Meneilly said: “The company’s strength is built on its entrepreneurial culture and its ability to anticipate market opportunities, execute roll-out plans and protect and nurture our brands. I am very confident we will continue to do that with Bain Capital.”
The company will generate an estimated $A260 million in network sales in FY2014 (June), and has a record of strong and consistent sales and EBITDA growth.
Nomura Australia was sole financial adviser and mandated lead arranger and bookrunner to Bain Capital. Retail Zoo was advised by UBS.
About Retail Zoo
Beginning in 2000 with Boost Juice Bars, Retail Zoo has grown to three leading food franchise brands:
Boost, Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill and Cibo Espresso (with big plans for Hatch Chicken Shop). The
group has expanded overseas with Boost International opening franchises in 9 countries including
Malaysia, South Africa, UK, Singapore and India.
The business comprises:
Boost Juice Bars – Australian category leader and pioneer in the juice and smoothie bar market. Boost has 218
stores in Australia with Boost International operating a further 100 stores in 9 countries (UK, Malaysia, Singapore,
Thailand, Indonesia, Chile, South Africa, India and Estonia) under master franchise agreements
Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill – a category leader in Australian Mexican QSRs, offering burritos, nachos, tacos and
salads. It has 51 outlets
Cibo Expresso – Specialist coffee chain offering premium coffee and quality food, pastries, gelato and desserts,
with 23 stores in Australia
Hatch Chicken Shop – an innovative chicken category business, providing healthy, gourmet, high quality and
affordable products. It has two stores in Australia.
About Bain Capital Private Equity
Founded in 1984, Bain Capital is one of the world’s foremost privately-held alternative investment
firms, with more than $75 billion of assets under management. With deep experience investing in and
building businesses around the world, the firm has advised on private equity, growth, and venture
capital investments in more than 450 companies across a variety of industries, including such leading
retail and consumer businesses as Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Brands, Burger King, Toys ‘R Us, Canada
Goose, Gymboree and Michael’s Stores. Bain Capital has a distinctly people-intensive, value-added
approach to investing, with a strong emphasis on supporting management teams to drive strategic and
operating improvements to create great businesses.
Bain Capital Asia, the firm’s Asian private equity affiliate, has been investing with the same philosophy
since 2007. Bain Capital private equity investments in the Asia Pacific region include such leading
businesses as MYOB, Skylark, ASIMCO, Bellsystem24, Feixiang, GA Pack, GOME, Hero Investments
and Jupiter Shop Channel.
Bain Capital has more than 900 employees and offices in Boston, New York, Chicago, Palo Alto,
London, Munich, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Melbourne.