Max Brenner salvaged with new deal

Embattled franchise chocolate chain Max Brenner may have been brought back from the brink of collapse following a last-minute acquisition by investment-company Tozer & Co.

The new deal would see Tozer & Co take control of the Australian franchise licence, which only last week, was reportedly terminated by the Israeli franchisor.

However, new reports indicate that the deal may have fallen through already.

In a statement, which has since been removed from liquidator BDO Australia’s website, Tozer & Co managing director David Tozer said the family office was excited to restructure the brand’s operations and stabilise the once-profitable franchise chain.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to acquire Max Brenner in Australia. In conjunction with the Franchisor, we are excited by the prospect of investing, growing and developing a highly successful business.  The brand has a rich history across the world and also within Australia,” Tozer said.

But on Friday, BDO said it has not entered into a transaction with Tozer & Co at this time, though the liquidators acknowledged that they explored a transaction with the investment firm relating to the trading of the business and the acquisition of Max Brenner in Australia.

“We will continue to trade the company whilst we explore options with the licensor, Max Brenner Industries Ltd, regarding the Max Brenner brand in Australia. Today it is business as usual,” said BDO’s Andrew Sallway.

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed on Monday, that as of Friday evening, one of the brand’s secured creditors, Glenn Wein appointed receivers from Ferrier Hodgson, effectively stifling future sale efforts.

Ferrier Hodgson has overseen a number of franchise business operations this year, most notably, Sumo Salad who exited administration with a new model and branding.

Max Brenner entered voluntary administration earlier this month, citing rising prices and tightening retail trading conditions as key factors, and promptly closed more than half of its stores.

Some 250 of Max Brenner’s 600 employees were affected by the closure of 20 of the brand’s 37 outlets.

The Australian incarnation of the Israeli franchise model has existed in Australia since 1999, spearheaded by BRW Young Rich Listers Tom and Lilly Haikin