ESQUIRES COFFEE HOUSES NZ FRANCHISE SALE COMPLETED
February 2011 - The sale of the Esquires Coffee Houses chain in New Zealand to ASX-listed Retail Food Group has been completed.
RFG announced on 29 December 2010 that it had reached a conditional agreement to acquire the New Zealand and Australia master franchise for Esquires from the Deeks family, which established the Esquires franchise in New Zealand in 2001. The chain has since grown to 46 outlets here, making it one of the largest coffee franchises in the country. There are currently no Esquires outlets in Australia.
Esquires Coffee Houses originated in Canada. Brothers Stuart and Lewis Deeks first took up the master licence for Australia and New Zealand, and later took on development rights for the rest of the world outside Europe and the Americas. The Deeks family has since awarded franchises in China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and intends to continue expanding the business in other areas outside Australasia. See Overseas Experience - Kiwis going global
RFG already own five franchises: Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakeries, bb’s café and Big Dad’s Pies. Esquires is seen to be a natural fit (and perhaps successor to) the bb’s chain, which is seen by some Australian analysts as lacking scale and in need of updating.
The Esquires sale is unusual in that RFG has bought intellectual property rights for Australasia outright, meaning that it is free to develop the businesses locally independent of the Canadian founders. The New Zealand Esquires outlets have already moved beyond the original brand image seen in North America and the UK.
Stuart Deeks believes that the sale will have a positive impact upon existing Esquires franchisees in New Zealand, giving them access to greater buying power.
‘We are thrilled,’ he told Franchise New Zealand. ‘The entire operations team led by Lewis will continue to run the business and RFG have stated that their intention is business as usual for the Esquires brand in New Zealand. We will be doing all in our power to support RFG during the coming months so as to provide continuity for our franchisees. For now, I will be assisting with the sale of new stores before handing over at a suitable juncture once new store delivery obligations to RFG have been concluded.’
‘RFG and the Esquires New Zealand team have been working very efficiently together and will continue to do so over the coming months. I foresee only positives for our franchisees in becoming part of what is a very successful group indeed.’
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