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Fri 19th Jul 2019 - Exclusive: Black Sheep Coffee acquires eight Taylor St Baristas cafes
Exclusive: Black Sheep Coffee acquires eight Taylor St Baristas cafes: London-based independent coffee shop Black Sheep Coffee has acquired eight Taylor St Baristas cafes, Propel has learned. Black Sheep Coffee is understood to have acquired the leases and it is thought some of the cafes will continue to trade under the Taylor St Baristas banner with Taylor St Baristas supplying coffee and training to the outlets. Gabriel Shohet, co-founder of Black Sheep Coffee, said: “We are pleased with the acquisition and are excited to welcome all Taylor Street staff as part of the Black Sheep family that every day is growing bigger and stronger. The Tolley siblings have built an incredible company over the years and we look forward to working closely together through this exciting time!” Nick Tolley, co-founder of Taylor St Baristas, added: “Taylor St takes great pride in the quality of our cafe experience. With Black Sheep we feel our shops are in the best hands possible, and we’re very excited to be working with it to continue to deliver the kind of cafe experience our customers have long come to expect.” Propel understands the deal is part of Taylor St Baristas change of direction that is seeing it shift away from being exclusively a “cafe business” to more of a “coffee business”. Last year, Taylor St Baristas signed a global partnership with Sodexo to supply coffee and training to the company and it is understood this is the type of business Taylor St Baristas wants to focus on in the future. Despite the change, it is thought Taylor St Baristas will continue to open cafes in the future, albeit flagship cafes that are designed to showcase the brand and its offering. Nick Tolley founded Taylor St Baristas in 2006 with his brother Andrew and sister Laura, inspired by the “sort of good coffee we took for granted back home in Australia”. The siblings also founded the Harris + Hoole coffee chain, which they sold to Tesco in 2016 and is now owned by Caffe Nero. The deal means Black Sheep Coffee now operates 33 sites in London and Manchester under the brand. It also operates a “friend-of-a-friend” franchise in Manila in the Philippines. Last month, it raised £13m in a new funding round to support its growth ambitions. The funding will allow Black Sheep Coffee to continue its global expansion, with the aim of growing its existing number of sites from 34 to 70 by the end of 2019.The brand has achieved 25% like-for-like sales growth across the past two quarters. It has also increased annualised turnover by 56% between the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019 from £8.5 to £13.3m and aims to reach £25m annualised turnover by the end of the year.

SSP Group reports good Third Quarter: SSP Group, the UK-based operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has reported a good Third Quarter to 30 June and made further progress on its strategic initiatives. The company stated: “Total group revenue increased by 9.2% on a constant currency basis, comprising like-for-like sales growth of 2.0% and net contract gains of 7.2%. At actual exchange rates, total group revenues for the period increased 10.3% year-on-year. In the UK, like-for-like sales growth was in line with our expectations, with stronger like-for-like sales growth in the air sector compared to rail. In Continental Europe, like-for-like sales continued to be held back by slower passenger growth in the Nordic countries and the impact of airport redevelopment activity in this region and in Spain. In North America, like-for-like sales growth was driven by increasing passenger numbers, although some of our airports have been impacted by the grounding of Boeing Max 737 aircraft and the transfer of passengers away from our terminals. In the Rest of the World, like for like sales growth has been mixed, with good performances in Egypt and the Middle East slightly offset, as anticipated, by the cessation of operations at Jet Airways in India and slower growth in China. Looking forward to the rest of the year, we anticipate like-for-like sales growth for the group to be around 2%. Net contract gains were good, driven by Continental Europe and North America, where the mobilisation of new contracts has been slightly ahead of schedule. Looking forward, we expect net gains in the full year to be slightly ahead of our expectations at around 5%, and as usual they will be accompanied by pre-opening costs. For the nine month period from 1 October 2018 to 30 June 2019, total group revenues increased by 7.6%, including like-for-like sales growth of 2.0%, net contract gains of 5.2% and the acquisition impact of Stockheim of 0.4%. At actual exchange rates, total group revenue increased by 8.3% year on year. Looking forward to the full year, our expectations remain unchanged and whilst a degree of uncertainty always exists around passenger numbers in the short term, we continue to benefit from the structural growth opportunities in our markets and to create further shareholder value.”

Anheuser-Busch InBev sells Australia division to Asahi: Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to divest Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), its Australian subsidiary, to Asahi Group Holdings, for 16bn AUD, equivalent to approximately 11.3 billion dollars, in enterprise value. The transaction represents an implied multiple of 14.9x 2018 normalised Ebitda. As part of this transaction, AB InBev will grant Asahi Group Holdings, rights to commercialise the portfolio of AB InBev’s global and international brands in Australia. The company stated: “The divestiture of CUB, once completed, will help AB InBev to accelerate its expansion into other fast-growing markets in the APAC region and globally. It will also allow the company to create additional shareholder value by optimising its business at an attractive price while further deleveraging its balance sheet and strengthening its position for growth opportunities. In addition, AB InBev continues to believe in the strategic rationale of a potential offering of a minority stake of Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Limited (Budweiser APAC), excluding Australia, provided that it can be completed at the right valuation.” Carlos Brito, chief executive of AB InBev, said: “We continue to see great potential for our business in APAC and the region remains a growth engine within our company. With our unparalleled portfolio of brands, strong commercial plans and talented people, we are uniquely positioned to capture opportunities for growth across the APAC region.” Substantially all of the proceeds from the divestiture of the Australian business will be used by the company to pay down debt. AB InBev’s commitment to reach a net debt to Ebitda target ratio of below 4x by the end of 2020 is not dependent on the completion of this transaction. Asahi Group Holdings has committed financing in place and the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including but not limited to regulatory approvals in Australia. The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2020. 

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