United Petroleum buys Pie Face

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Inside Franchise Business: Pie Face will be under new ownershipBeleaguered franchise chain Pie Face has been bought by another franchise business.

Six months after Pie Face fell into receivership for the second time in three years, United Petroleum (which has more than 400 outlets) has acquired its intellectual property and retail network for an undisclosed sum.

The petrol and convenience business plans to roll out the company’s baked goods to its service stations.

Gary Brinkworth, CEO of United Petroleum, said in a statement “When the opportunity to acquire Pie Face emerged we identified tremendous value in its brand, as well as its growth potential as a standalone business,” 

“We took the decision that Pie Face would fit perfectly with our strategy of growing our business and achieving scale by expanding into new categories whilst growing customer numbers and building capability.”

Pie Face will continue to run as a standalone business, according to United Petroleum marketing manager Andrew English.

“We are diversifying our network and it will give us an improved offering for our (service station) customers but it will also be its own business,” he told AAP.

“We are looking at investing in Pie Face and that will involve looking at new lines.”

The pie chain went into receivership in October after financier TCA Global tried unsuccessfully to turn the business around from its collapse in December 2014 with more than $20 million in debt.

Under the sale agreement, Pie Face CEO Bruce Feodoroff will continue to lead the food chain, ensuring continuity for existing franchisees and staff.

Christopher Palmer and Liam Bailey of O’Brien Palmer, appointed receivers and managers of Pie Face in October 2016, expect a smooth transition process to help ensure a ‘business as usual’ environment. 

The sale is expected to be finalised shortly.

United has also committed to maintaining supply for Pie Face, ensuring ‘business as usual’ for staff employed in the commercial kitchen, franchisees, and head office.

“This acquisition provides certainty for staff as many local jobs and small business operators have been protected and staff entitlements have been retained. United will benefit from retaining this experience and corporate knowledge,” Brinkworth said.

“United is a financially strong Australian business with a strategy in place to ensure Pie Face has a successful future.”

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