Boutique café group Tashas is back in the hands of its founders, after listed holding company, Famous Brands, said Monday (24 August) that it has sold its controlling 51% stake to the Sideris family, who hold the remaining 49%.
The group said that the sale is in line with Famous Brands’ three year-strategic road map, which includes a narrower focus of investment of resources in the Signature brands portfolio, including Tashas.
Tashas was founded in 2005 by Natasha Sideris, partnered by Savva Sideris, her brother. In 2008 Famous Brands acquired a 51% stake in the business, which comprised two restaurants.
As at 30 July 2020, the network has grown to 18 restaurants in South Africa, with an additional eight in the United Arab Emirates.
In reporting its annual results for the year ended March 2020, Famous Brands outlined how the Covid-19 pandemic and nation-wide lockdown had impacted its operations within the first quarter of the 2021 financial year.
During the initial stages of the lockdown, all restaurants were prohibited from operating, with take-away service only allowed from 1 May. This left the group with a full month of zero operations at its brands, and then limited operation until restaurants were allowed to open mid-way through June.
These adverse conditions forced the group to implement a new strategy: namely a three-prong strategy to secure its business, specifically looking at expansion, consolidation and preserving cash.
Famous Brands said that its retail segment continued to perform well during lockdown, due to retailers being able to remain in operation. It plans to expand this segment, as well as its strongest leading food brands.
This includes ‘flexing’ brands like Wimpy, FEGO and Mugg & Bean and expanding their delivery options and capabilities.
However, the signature portfolio is likely to be consolidated, it said, where the group will focus on brands that show the best opportunity for scale, while exiting non-performing brands.
Aside from Tashas, other joint-venture brands within the Signature portfolio include: Turn n Tender, Lupa, and Salsa Mexican Grill.
Mythos, Vovo Telo and Europa are Signature brands wholly-owned by Famous Brands, while Paul, House of Coffees and NetCafé are operated under licence.
“Our ongoing programme to optimise the structure of this portfolio will be determined by the nature of the recovery of the casual dining segment – which is expected to be protracted and unforgiving,” Famous Brands said.
The group gave no indication to the size of the acquisition consideration