Interesting, possibly eyebrow-wrinkling news for all you chook fanatics out there: A trio of Australia’s more beloved chicken brands has been sold off in a megadeal worth around $500 million, meaning ownership of the three chains is now out of Australian hands.
Oporto, Red Rooster, and Chicken Treat have been flogged off in a package deal ticked off on by previous ownership group Craveable Brands, with leading Asian investment firm PAG Asia Capital now the new owners of your Bondi Burgers and Rippa Rolls and whatnot.
The exact dollar amount involved in the deal is not known and will not be published due to a variety of legal sticking points, but the tag of $500 million that has been bouncing around in the media ever since word of the sale broke is confirmed to be “in the ballpark” of being right.
In May of last year, scrutiny over Craveable Brands’ business practices was placed in the spotlight thanks to a Senate inquiry into their operations. That inquiry revealed brand owners were forcing franchisees to engage company-centric supply chains that grossly overcharged them for things like Mount Franklin water and even napkins, forks, and spoons. Additionally, franchisees claimed that stores who did not sign up to offer home delivery were punished by Craveable by having marketing and ad spend withheld. That inquiry lead to some claims that scores of outlets were on the brink of total financial collapse.
PAG Asia Capital has yet to comment on their acquisition and what it means for the future of Oporto, Red Rooster, and Chicken Treat in general, however it’s believed the firm will be taking a “business as usual” approach to company operations, meaning you probably shouldn’t rush out in a blind panic for your last little lick of the chookman.
Combined, the three companies operate 576 stores across both Australia and New Zealand, which includes 359 Red Rooster outlets and 159 Oportos.
It’s not the first entry into the Australian food market for PAG; previously, the investment firm acquired The Cheesecake Shop in 2017.
The company is expected to target additional international expansion in the coming years.Image: Getty Images / Jeff Greenberg