Franchised pizza chain Eagle Boys has hit the news with the announcement that the franchisor has entered voluntary administration.
The chain of 120 plus franchisees is continuing to operate as usual – the appointment of administrators does not apply to these individually owned businesses.
A statement from Eagle Boys said “For Eagle Boys customers, franchisees, employees and suppliers it’s ‘business as usual’ while the Administrators’ review is underway."
SV Partners has been appointed administrator and has assumed control of Eagle Boys’ head office day-to-day operations, with a focus on maintaining business as usual and continuing with negotiations for a sale of the business.
A statement from the franchisor said the administrators “are in the process of identifying restructuring measures”.
Fairfax reports that documents reveal the franchisor business was close to, or unable to pay its debts.
According to IbisWorld, Eagle Boys has a 4.6 percent market share of the Australian pizza market, sitting behind Domino’s and Pizza Hut, the key competitors for the price-conscious consumer.
Retail Food Group, the franchisor for gourmet pizza brands Crust and Pizza Caper, has four percent of the market, and along with market leader Domino's has been suggested as a potential buyer for Eagle Boys.
In 2007 a private equity firm NBC Capital took an 85 percent share in the Eagle Boys business. In 2015 Nick Vincent was appointed as Eagle Boys CEO.
At the height of its expansion in 2014, Eagle Boys had 340 stores around Australia; there are 127 listed on the website now.
Fairfax reports franchisees have been battling with the franchisor and a class action has been under consideration.