Boost Juice changes hands as private equity group Bain Capital acquires Retail Zoo

Private equity group Bain Capital has acquired Boost Juice parent company Retail Zoo, in partnership with the juice chain’s founders Janine and Jeff Allis.

The completed sale follows reports earlier this month that Retail Zoo had entered into “exclusive sale negotiations” with Bain Capital, with the former owner, US private equity group The Riverside Company, keen to sell the 70% stake it acquired from Janine and Jeff Allis for $70 million in 2010.

The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed, but earlier reports suggested the deal could be worth as much as $185 million.

Bain Capital and Retail Zoo said in a joint statement today that the founders will remain “heavily invested in the business”, with chief executive Scott Meneilly to also stay on.

The acquisition fits squarely with Bain Capital’s previous investments in the quick service restaurant category, including investments in Domino’s Pizza in the US and Japan, Dunkin’ Brands, Burger King and Bloomin’ Brands.

Bain Capital also has an interest in Australian accounting software company MYOB.

Janine Allis said in the statement she is looking forward to working with Bain Capital to continue to grow the business.

“After our first meeting with Bain Capital, we knew we had met the partner that can assist us in our growth strategy and from the start of the process, was our preferred partner,” she said.

Bain Capital managing director Craig Boyce said Retail Zoo is “highly aligned” with the private equity group’s Australian strategy.

“[Retail Zoo] participates in attractive QSR categories with leading market positions, very strong brands, solid customer relationships and numerous opportunities for further growth,” said Boyce. “We plan to work with the founders and management to build on their superb record of achievement.”

Boyce hinted Boost Juice will look to expand its range of “health-orientated” products, and could look to open new sites at universities, train stations, airports and petrol stations.

As reported by SmartCompany previously, rumours another private equity group Affinity Equity were interested in Retail Zoo began circulating earlier this year.

The company was founded by Janine and Jeff Allis with Geoff Harris and Marc and Daniel Besen. It now operates 294 stores nationally and is estimated to turnover more than $350 million each year, with annual earnings of more than $20 million

Retail Zoo had a busy year in 2013, opening 36 new stores, acquiring coffee chain Cibo Espresso and launching Hatch Chicken Shop.


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