Boost Juice sells 70 percent stake to private equity

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Boost Juice founders Jeff and Janine Alliss have sold a 70 percent share of the group to a global private equity firm, Riverside, in a deal valued at between $65 and $70 million.

Janine Alliss told Franchising “We’ve been working on this for about six months. We’ve been looking at ways to expand and ways to add in people who can add true value to the business.”

Alliss said Riverside is an ideal investor, bringing to the Boost Investment Group a strong franchise background through its stake in other franchised businesses including the Dwyer Group in the US, a multi-franchise business similar to the Jim’s Group.

“When you sit with people and talk about business, either you’re on the same wavelength or you are miles apart. We always felt we could keep going through any difficulties,” Alliss said.

A majority ownership by the company doesn’t mean much of a change for the Boost Juice and younger sibling Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill network day to day, she added.

“Jeff and I are still in the same jobs. What it means is more resources at hand, contacts overseas, and we’re looking to add more acquisitions under the Boost banner. This brings it to a new level.”

Riverside was founded in the US, has 73 company investments around the world and opened an Australian office in Melbourne last month. Partner Simon Feiglin told Franchising “We’re a global investment firm and the franchising space is a great way to grow business. Boost Juice has a great management team, great systems, a great model.

“We expect the company to continue to do what it does well. We will continue to expand the brand in Australia selectively, and look for opportunities to grow internationally, we can accelerate this.

“We manage from board level,” Feiglin added. “We’ll be working with them to provide capital.”

As part of the deal, Boost has also acquired the remaining 32 percent shares of Salsa’s from the original founder.

Allis said “As big a deal as this is for us, it really is business as usual. We will continue to be as good as we can be, whether that’s new products, innovative marketing, or growing our domestic and international markets.”

Expansion in both the domestic and overseas markets is part of the plan for the group which is celebrating 10 years of Boost Juice.

While the US has always been in Boost’s plans it may not be the first port of call. “But when we do go we will have an office, the staff and the structure already there,” said Alliss.

Legal firm Hall & Wilcox advised Boost in the sale, led by partner Bruce McFarlane. McFarlane said “The transaction is a significant step for overseas private equity investment in Australia during a period of uncertainty. At the same time, it provides a great opportunity for Boost to continue its growth internationally. ”