Goldex Investments Limited, until recently the largest franchised Costa Coffee store operator in the UK, has just sold 14 of its 60 stores to AM Coffee Holdings Ltd in a £multi-million transaction. The stores were all owned by subsidiary, Goldex (Surrey) and operate stores in shopping centres and high streets in the Surrey area.
Goldex Investments Limited, which also operates the Kaspas desserts brand as well as Costas, is owned by Diljit and Satnam Brar who turned to specialists at Smith Cooper Corporate Finance to assist them with the sale.
Goldex were very early adopters of the Costa brand, starting around 12 years ago. The first of the Surrey stores was opened way back in March 2006 on the Orpington High Street, since when the Surrey business has been constantly grown, most recently by adding a second store at Petts Wood. The owners developed an excellent, autonomous management team to operate the Surrey business, which employs around 120 staff, who will remain with the business.
AM Coffee Holdings Ltd is owned by Ajaz Mirza and Ahsan Munir, seasoned businessmen with multiple business interests including, until recently, the operation of Domino’s franchises in the London area.
Smith Cooper Corporate Finance acted as lead deal advisers, the team comprising of John Farnsworth and David Crump who have specialist experience in the franchise and food and beverage sectors. Our award-winning Corporate Finance division, which recently won the Midlands Insider Corporate Advisory Team of the Year 2018 award, encompasses 3 offices and has a number specialisms including food and beverage, retail and other franchises. Head of Corporate Finance, John Farnsworth, commented: “David and I are delighted to have had the opportunity to secure the sale of this Surrey business on behalf of Diljit and Satnam, whom we have known and held in high regard for many years. The transaction reflects the quality of the business which they built up, and at an exemplary pace”. David Crump added “Ajaz and Ahsan are highly experienced buyers and intend to develop the Costa brand; we wish them every success with that”.
Commenting on the deal, Diljit Brar said “I’ve known John and David of Smith Cooper Corporate Finance for years and, being well-known for their expertise in this field, appointing them to this important transaction was a natural choice. They were professional, showed dogged determination to achieve our objective, and were good fun to work with. I doubt we would have achieved the deal without them on our team and have no hesitation in recommending them.”
Legal advice to the Seller was provided by Keith McAlister, Alexander Bishop and Oliver Butler of Thomson Snell & Passmore.
Representing the buyer, Ahsan Munir said “this deal marks our entry into the highly-coveted Costa brand with a significant number of well-run stores built up by one of the most experienced operators in the sector. We intend to take up where Diljit left off by growing the sales of the existing portfolio and, in due course, developing new stores. I would like to thank the team at Costa for the way they guided Ajaz and myself into the Costa system, and for their help with the deal process”.
Head of Partnerships at Costa, Roger Welsh, said “We are delighted to see this recent transaction completed for all parties, and welcome Ahsan and Ajaz to the Costa Partnerships team.” Costa have worked with Smith Cooper over the past few years on several Partner sale transactions. John and David are professional, always keeping all the parties involved informed and up to date with progress in a timely fashion”.