Retail Food Group Ltd has communicated news of a conditional agreement to purchase the New Zealand-based master franchise business of the franchise system, Esquires Coffee Houses.
Still subject to the standard terms of such an acquisition, completion of the deal is also dependent upon a separate agreement under negotiation, which would see the food group acquire the intellectual property rights for the coffee franchise set-up in Australia and New Zealand.
The main financial terms of the arrangement are said to have been agreed. However official documentation is yet to be carried out and exchanged between the concerned parties.
Once complete (provisionally in mid February 2011), the deal will see Retail Food Group become the intellectual property owner, as well as the franchisor and licensor for the Esquires coffee system across the geographies of both Australia and New Zealand, marking a significant move for the retailer.
Esquires Coffee Houses’ franchise system originates from Canada and was first set up in New Zealand through a master franchise arrangement in 2001. At present, there are some 46 coffee venues in the country, which makes Esquires the largest coffee franchise chain. The system is yet to be expanded to Australia.
In terms of its coffee, Esquires Coffee Houses uses 100 per cent organic Fair Trade varieties, primarily from the Arabica plant and custom-blended or custom-roasted and served fresh to its customers every time. Offering traditional, dark and decaf house blends, the franchise also serves Wake Me Up, Super Strong and Smooth Talker coffees.