Famous Brands buys Gourmet Burger Kitchen for £109m, plans to double amount of stores in five years:

South African fast food group Famous Brands has acquired Gourmet Burger Kitchen from Nando’s owner Capricorn Ventures for 2.1 billion rand (£109m), saving nearly a fifth on the price due to a weaker pound in the wake of Brexit, the company said. Famous Brands, which also owns casual dining chain Wimpy UK, plans to double the gourmet burger chain’s 75 British stores in the next five years.

 

Private equity house Capricorn Ventures acquired Gourmet Burger Kitchen from Clapham House for £30m in 2010. Famous Brands group adviser for mergers and acquisitions Kevin Hedderwick told Reuters: “Brexit has had some upside for us.”

 

Famous Brands started negotiations with Gourmet Burger Kitchen earlier this year and saved as much as 700 million rand on the acquisition, according to Hedderwick, as the pound slumped following the UK’s referendum decision to leave the EU, while South Africa’s rand firmed after relatively peaceful local elections. Hedderwick said he expects to open ten to 15 new Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurants a year in the UK, with plans to expand further into Ireland and take the gourmet burger concept to South Africa. He added: “The fast-casual premium environment is pretty recession-proof.”