Franchise Brands plc Acquires Barking Mad Limited
1 November, 2016
Franchise Brands plc Acquires Barking Mad Limited
First acquisition since IPO, in line with strategy to acquire established franchise businesses that will benefit from Franchise Brands’ central services
Franchise Brands plc, a multi-brand international franchisor, today announces its acquisition of Barking Mad Limited, a leading pet care franchise, for £900,000 in a combination of cash and shares in Franchise Brands.
The deal represents Franchise Brands’ first acquisition since its IPO in August 2016, when it outlined its strategy to build the group by the selective acquisition of high quality franchise businesses that can benefit from its central services and which address the same B2C market as its existing brands.
Established in 2000 by Lee Dancy, Managing Director, Barking Mad was a pioneer of professionally organised dog sitting services for owners when they are away. It currently has 75 franchised territories across the UK, operated by 71 franchisees. The number of franchisees has grown by nearly 30% over the past four years and Barking Mad’s franchisees service an estimated 20,000 active customers. System sales in the last financial year were £3.1m. Ranked number one on Trust Pilot in the Pets category, the strong level of trust in the brand, coupled with high quality customer service, has also enabled Barking Mad’s franchisees to achieve substantial repeat business.
Barking Mad’s founder and majority shareholder, Lee Dancy, will continue to manage the company whilst being able to draw on the extensive franchising expertise in Franchise Brands’ leadership team and Board.
Franchise Brands believe that there is substantial scope for Barking Mad to grow as part of the wider group with the benefit of its central services and particularly its expertise in marketing. Growth is expected to come from increasing the number of franchised territories and helping Barking Mad’s franchisees continue to successfully grow their businesses.
The acquisition sees Franchise Brands add Barking Mad to its portfolio of high quality franchise brands. Together with its two main existing brands, ChipsAway and Ovenclean, the group now has over 400 franchisees in 12 countries.
Stephen Hemsley, Executive Chairman, Franchise Brands, said:
“We are delighted with the acquisition of Barking Mad which fits very well with our strategy of acquiring high quality franchise businesses that can benefit from our central services and which has a similar customer base to that of our two main existing brands, ChipsAway and Ovenclean.
“Barking Mad is the leading franchise provider of dog sitting services in the UK and its franchisees benefit from very high levels of customer satisfaction and repeat business. We look forward to working with Lee and her team to develop the opportunities we see to grow the company’s franchise network and to help Barking Mad’s franchisees continue to successfully build their businesses.”
Lee Dancy, Managing Director, Barking Mad, said:
“We are looking forward to working with the team at Franchise Brands whose clear experience in successfully growing high quality franchise businesses will help us greatly in the next stage of our development. Franchise Brands’ strong central services, and marketing expertise in particular, will be of great value as we continue to grow our network and help our franchisees to grow their businesses. We are very excited about building on our success to date as part of a larger, publicly quoted group with a clear strategy to develop their portfolio of high quality franchise brands.”
For further information, please contact:
Franchise Brands plc (www.franchisebrands.co.uk) +44 (0) 800 012 6462
Stephen Hemsley, Executive Chairman
Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer
Julia Choudhury, Corporate Development Director
Barking Mad Ltd (www.barkingmad.uk.com) + 44 (0) 1524 220202
Lee Dancy, Managing Director
MHP Communications (Financial PR) +44 (0) 20 3128 8100
Katie Hunt, Managing Director
Jade Neal, Associate Director
Further information on Barking Mad:
Barking Mad was a pioneer in the market for professionally-organised dog sitting services. It was founded in 2000 by Lee Dancy, Managing Director. Barking Mad’s customer proposition is that it provides peace of mind for dog owners while they are away by providing a professional, tailor made, and fully insured, dog sitting service and it is an alternative to kennels. Barking Mad’s franchisees market to individual customers and then recruit “host” families who look after customer’s dogs in their own houses when they are away.
Barking Mad has an estimated 20,000 active customers and is ranked number 1 on Trust Pilot out of 172 companies in the Pets category with an average score of 9.9 out of 10. This level of trust in the brand and service has enabled franchisees to achieve substantial repeat revenue.
The market for Barking Mad’s services is substantial. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association’s annual Pet Population Report 2016, 24% of UK households have a dog.
Barking Mad currently has 75 franchised territories across the UK, operated by 71 franchisees. The number of franchisees has grown nearly 30% over the past 4 years. In the year to 30 April 2016, Barking Mad recruited 19 new franchisees of which 12 were for green field territories and 7 were in relation to the re-sales of successful existing business.
Barking Mad is a member of the Pet Services Association, a division of the Pet Industry Federation and a full member of the British Franchise Association.
Further information on Franchise Brands:
Franchise Brands is a group of international multi-brand franchisors with a combined network of over 400 franchisees in 12 countries, but predominantly in the UK. Prior to the acquisition of Barking Mad, the Group’s two main brands were ChipsAway, a mobile car paintwork repair specialist with over 225 franchisees, and Ovenclean, a mobile domestic oven cleaning business with close to 100 franchisees. These businesses deliver services to individuals of a similar socio-economic group through the Group’s franchisees.
Founded in September 2008 by Stephen Hemsley (Executive Chairman) and Nigel Wray (Non-Executive Director), the Group’s principal shareholders, Franchise Brands has a highly experienced management team and Board with extensive expertise in franchising (gained through their notable involvement with Domino’s Pizza), operating and growing profitable businesses and investigating acquisition targets.
Franchise Brands has developed a highly professional central services platform including marketing, franchise recruitment and support services such as IT, which enables it to support the acquisition of some new franchise brands without significantly increasing its central overhead.
The Board has a clear strategy to build the Group by the selective, earnings enhancing acquisition of high quality franchise businesses that can benefit from its central services, whilst addressing the same B2C market as its existing brands. Selective acquisitions are intended to supplement organic growth derived from increasing the number of franchisees in the existing brands and supporting existing franchisees who wish to grow their businesses.
Franchise Brands was admitted to AIM in August 2016 (ticker code: FRAN.L).