A JUICE bar chain with more than 280 shops around the world is eyeing up sites for its first move into Scotland after securing an investment from the £2.5 billion Business Growth Fund (BGF).
Boost Juice Bars UK – which is run by Richard and Dawn O’Sullivan, who previously founded the Millie’s Cookies chain – sold a minority stake to the BGF for £2.5 million to fund the opening of 30 stores over three years.
Boost was founded in Adelaide by Janine Allis in 2003 and now has operations in more than 20 countries, including China, India and Russia.
The chain came to the UK in 2007 when the O’Sullivans bought the franchise rights for the British Isles, opening its first branch in Manchester’s Trafford shopping centre. Boost now has ten shops in the UK and turns over about £4m a year.
The O’Sullivans – along with chairman Bill Holroyd and finance director Martin Burrill – grew Millie’s Cookies to more than 100 stores before selling it to catering giant Compass Group in 2003 for £24m. Richard O’Sullivan told The Scotsman: “Having successfully expanded our previous business Millie’s Cookies throughout Scotland over the years, we are actively looking for great sites for a Boost Juice Bar in every major shopping centre in Scotland”
“As with all the other countries we operate in, we are confident that customers in Scotland will embrace the concept of a ‘healthier treat’.” Manchester-based Boost is the second of the O’Sullivans’ businesses in which the BGF has invested. In April, the fund pumped £3.25m into BarBurrito, at which Richard O’Sullivan is chairman, marking the BGF’s first investment in the north-east of England.
Mexican restaurant chain BarBurrito already has six branches in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester and aims to open a further 18 sites within three years.
Andy Gregory, BGF’s regional director for the north of England, will take a seat on Boost’s board following the latest investment.
The fund has also been active north of the Border, injecting £7.8m into Aberdeen-based oil and gas pipeline engineering firm Stats, £3.85m into Glasgow-based M-Squared Lasers and £4.2m into Edinburgh-based Morphsuit fancy dress outfit maker AFG Media.
The BGF was set up in 2010 by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered to invest in businesses that turn over between £5m and £50m a year in return for an equity stake and a seat on the board.