Franchise Brands plc acquires Azura Group Ltd
Consolidates and secures Franchise Brand’s technology development and IP
Opportunity to develop Azura’s franchise management software system to enhance sales to other franchise businesses
Franchise Brands plc, a multi-brand franchisor, today announces its acquisition of Azura Group Ltd (“Azura”), a leading franchise management software system developer, for a gross consideration of £1,000,000 in a combination of cash and shares in Franchise Brands.
Having worked in partnership with Azura in recent years, the acquisition enables the Group to consolidate its software development and secure ownership of the related intellectual property (“IP”) created to date, at a time when the Group is embarking on a further, more ambitious digital journey. A key part of the Group’s strategy is to develop a common technology platform across all its businesses that will enhance the end-to-end customer experience and improve the efficiency and productivity of its business, and franchisees. Azura will play a key part in delivering this platform.
The Board also believes there is an opportunity to use Franchise Brands’ experience and expertise to grow Azura’s business, by improved development of its end-to-end franchise management software system to enhance sales to other franchise businesses in the UK and overseas.
Established in 1990, Azura has developed a proprietary fully integrated, cloud-based, franchise management software system specifically tailored and designed to the needs of franchise businesses. Its core functionality includes a customer web portal, a full CRM system, a franchise recruitment CRM, an integrated invoicing and bookkeeping system, and intranet and mobile applications. Franchisors benefit from improved efficiencies, reliability, accessibility and compliance, flexibility and scaleability.
Azura has positioned itself as the partner of choice within the franchising sector and works with more than 35 franchise networks. Azura serves customers across a broad cross-section of franchise categories, and has particular experience in the service-based, van-based, domiciliary care and children’s activity sectors. Solutions are customised to the needs of each network. The system is multi-lingual and can be used by franchisors in a number of international markets.
Azura’s founder and majority shareholder, Simon Pullum, will continue as a Director of the business and Azura will operate on an arms-length basis within the Group. The Azura management team, which includes recently-appointed Mark Scott as Operations Director, will be able to draw on the Group’s resources, experience and expertise to build on its success to date.
Stephen Hemsley, Executive Chairman of Franchise Brands, said:
“I am delighted to announce the acquisition of Azura, which represents an important step in the Group’s digital journey. Given the ever-increasing importance of technology to the Group and the role Azura has played in the development of our “Vision” works management system at Metro Rod and Metro Plumb, the acquisition of Azura has a strong strategic and commercial rationale in that it consolidates and secures our software development and key IP.”
“We also see an opportunity to grow Azura through combining Franchise Brands’ resources, expertise and experience with Azura’s pre-eminent franchise management SaaS platform to enhance sales to other franchise businesses both in the UK and overseas.”
“Finally, I would like to welcome Simon Pullum and his team to Franchise Brands and say how much I look forward to working with them in the years to come.”