Retail Zoo, the parent of Boost Juice and Betty’s Burgers, may be taken over by Quadrant, the private equity firm.
Controlled by another equity investment firm, Bain Capital, Retail Zoo has in the past been eyed by Collins Foods, parent of the Australian KFC and Taco Bell franchises, but a deal was not struck.
Bain has been considering listing the Retail Zoo business since 2019, but the advent of Covid-19 saw those plans put on hold. Since then, volatile trading conditions have discouraged multiple businesses from launching IPOs.
Bain invested $185 million to take a controlling interest from founder Janine Ellis in 2014. Since then, sales have grown from $132 million in 2019 to $148 million last year, according to data from IbisWorld, with EBIT last year reaching $49 million.
The Betty’s Burgers part of the business now accounts for 56 per cent of the parent company’s sales, overtaking the original core earner Boost, which accounts for 35 per cent, according to data sourced by The Australian. Other brands in the group are Cibo Espresso and Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill.
The paper cited unnamed sources saying Quadrant had approached Bain regarding buying Retail Zoo, offering Bain an alternative path to listing in order to exit the business and realise its profit.