19/09/2014 - 13:33

Navis returns to Dome cafes

19/09/2014 - 13:33

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Private equity players are at the heart of a second major Perth-based food franchise deal within 12 months, with Malaysian private equity firm Navis Capital Partners reacquiring a majority stake in Dome Coffees at a price estimated to be at least $50 million.

Navis returns to Dome cafes
REPEAT CUSTOMER: Navis has bought back a majority stake in Dome it sold six years ago.

Private equity players are at the heart of a second major Perth-based food franchise deal within 12 months, with Malaysian private equity firm Navis Capital Partners reacquiring a majority stake in Dome Coffees Australia at a price estimated to be at least $50 million.

The acquisition by Navis’s $1.2 billion sixth Asia Fund of Viburnum Funds’ 80 per cent controlling stake in Dome in large part reverses a $30 million deal in 2008, when it sold out to the Wyllie Group-owned Viburnum and Dome management.

Navis, an active player in Western Australia’s private equity space, originally bought out Archer Capital’s interest in Dome for $20 million in 2003 through its Navis Asia Fund III.

The acquisition represents another ownership change for a Perth-founded food service franchise, with the sale of Croissant Express in September last year.

Croissant Express majority shareholder, Perth-based Banksia Capital, along with local management players Jonathan Huston and Glenn Evans, sold their interest for an undisclosed sum to Singaporean-backed Consolidated Food Holdings.

Banksia Capital founder Mark Dutton, a former Navis director, said the Malaysian group’s return to Dome was a testament to the quality of the business and management team.

Dome and Navis would not confirm the value of the deal, but reports suggest the total enterprise value of the company was $50 million to $60 million in 2008 and has since increased.

“This latest transaction simply marks another chapter in the marriage of capital held by both us as the folk running the business and institutional investors, who are excited by both its past performance and future prospects,” Dome managing director Nigel Oakey said.

Mr Oakey confirmed the company’s headquarters would remain in Perth, where all domestic and overseas growth plans would be administered.

With Dome now in its fourth round of funding, Navis returns to operate with the same management team that it worked with in 2003, an element Mr Oakey said was key in the continued development of the franchise.

“For us it is all about playing the long game and building a company to last,” he said.

Navis co-managing partner Nicholas Bloy said the key opportunity for Dome involved the growth and expansion of its outlets across South-East Asia and the Middle East.

Dome sits at number eight franchise on BNIQ’s franchises list and has 110 outlets across Australia, South-East Asia and the Middle East.

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