Bain sees juicy prospect in Boost

A US investor hopes to squeeze even healthier profits out of Boost Juice, after buying the chain’s parent company for $185m.

Bain Capital is set to make its second investment in Australia after agreeing to buy Retail Zoo, the owner of health drink franchise Boost Juice.

Bain has signed agreements with Retail Zoo’s owners, US-based private equity firm The Riverside Company and Boost Juice founders Janine and Jeff Allis, to buy the business for around $185 million, sources said.

The deal, expected to close in about a month, will see Bain essentially replace Riverside after buying its 70 per cent stake, with the founders to stay on as equity holders.

Management will also remain with Retail Zoo, which has expanded to include other food franchise brands, such as Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill and Cibo Espresso.

Bain, which was co-founded by former Republican President nominee Mitt Romney, is being advised by Nomura, with UBS working with Retail Zoo’s shareholders.

Bain will use about 50 per cent equity and 50 per cent debt to pay for the acquisition, with Nomura underwriting the financing before syndicating the debt out to banks.

It comes after Bain in 2011 entered Australia through the $1.2bn acquisition of accounting software firm MYOB.

Other Australian private equity firms, including Archer Capital and Affinity Equity Partners, showed interest in Retail Zoo, the sources said.

Bain will aim to apply its global expertise in restaurant businesses to power Boost Juice’s next leg of growth. The private equity group also likes businesses with global opportunities, suggesting it will look to expand Boost Juice’s global footprint beyond Britain, Asia and South Africa.

Bain previously owned Burger King and recently sold a 75 per cent stake in Domino’s Pizza Japan to the Australian Domino’s business.

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