Taste Holdings show the way


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Taste Holdings

One franchise organisation that stubbornly refuses to be sucked into the prevailing gloom and doom scenario is Taste Holdings. They continue to bet on strong brands and remain a force to be reckoned with. ThatÔÇÖs probably the reason why they remain relatively unaffected by temporary hick-ups in the economy.

After building Scooters Pizza from scratch, acquiring MaxiÔÇÖs and purchasing some BJÔÇÖs outlets for conversion to MaxiÔÇÖs, Taste Holdings surprised the market by venturing into a completely unrelated field. CEO Carlo Gonzaga announced the acquisition of Natal Wholesale Jewellers (NWJ), the 25-year old chain of jewellery stores, plus its manufacturing arm. The total consideration is just over R100 million, to be funded through a mix of cash, new shares, debt and equity.

NWJ currently has about 70 stores and plans to double its size over the next few years. The purchase arrangement provides that current management will remain in place for at least two years.

We will follow developments with interest. We are especially keen to find out whether Taste Holdings will be able to create synergies among these disparate businesses. Needless to say, weÔÇÖll keep our readers informed.

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