Coffee Snobs Limited which operates 14 lucrative Costa Coffee franchises in the affluent commuter belt of north-west London and the Home Counties has been sold to Kout Food Group in a multi-million pound deal advised on by Smith Cooper Corporate Finance (“SCCF”).

SCCF is the corporate finance division of Midlands business advisers and accountants, Smith Cooper. Although advising on acquisitions and disposals in all sectors, SCCF has specialists in the QSR and franchise sectors and this deal brings the tally of such transactions to well over 35. SCCF project managed the latest transaction for the Sellers, Paul Messenger and Juliet McGuigan, compiling a comprehensive information pack, valuing the business, identifying and negotiating with the Buyer, liaising with the Franchisor, and providing a full and rigorous deal management service throughout the sale process.

Commenting on the deal, SCCF Corporate Finance Partner John Farnsworth said “This is only the second significant transaction in the Costa brand, the first being the sale of South West Coffee last summer – a sale process we also managed”. David Crump, a Director of Corporate Finance at Smith Cooper, added “Whilst we pride ourselves in obtaining a deep understanding of the value-drivers in all of our transactions, in the QSR and franchise market we can really bring our experience to bear.”

Paul and Juliet were one of the first franchisees to join the Costa franchise system in 2004 with a single store in Berkhamsted and have since developed the Coffee Snobs business significantly into a business with 14 stores employing nearly 150 members of staff. Reflecting on the deal, Paul and Juliet said “It was a massive step and one which I don’t think we’d have got through without SCCF’s help and support. SCCF are a great team and we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them”.

Kout Food Group (KFG) is a Kuwaiti based company (part of the Al Homaizi Group) that operates over 130 restaurants in Kuwait, and has been a franchisee of Pizza Hut for over 30 years, and of Burger King for over 15 years. KFG’s portfolio of brands in the UK includes Little Chef, Burger King, KFC, Cha Cha Moon and currently extends to more than 170 stores.