Belgian fast-food chain ‘looking for new owners’
25 June 2004
BRUSSELS – Quick Restaurants SA, the Berchem-based fast-food chain, may soon be under new ownership just two years after getting new majority shareholders, it was reported Friday.
In a statement Thursday, Quick said its board of directors recently received unsolicited expressions of interest from prospective investors willing to support the company in its next stages of investment.
Although the company declined to reveal further details, the announcement fuelled speculation that majority shareholders Ackermns & van Haaren NV and Cie. Nationale à Portefeuille, were looking to cash out of their investment.
The two Belgian holding companies acquired a combined 58 percent in Quick in 2000 through their joint purchase of Quick’s parent company, GIB SA, the former Belgian retail giant that eventually went bankrupt. The rest of Quick is publicly traded.
The news comes as Quick seeks to bounce back from a slump. After a EUR 9.1 million loss in 2002, the company returned to positive earnings in 2002 with a EUR 12.9 million profit.
While continuing to focus on its core business, Quick successfully launched a series of new products last year – including the Supreme Cheese – and a new advertising campaign in France, which accounts for about 80 percent of sales.
The restaurant chain has also been closing unprofitable restaurants, decreasing the total number of sites from 411 in 2002 to 398 last year. About three-quarters of restaurants are operated under franchise.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject : Belgian news