Franchise Brands plc Acquires Barking Mad Limited

First acquisition since IPO, in line with strategy to acquire established franchise businesses that will benefit from Franchise Brands’ central services.

Franchise Brands plc, a multi-brand international franchisor, today announces its acquisition of Barking Mad Limited, a leading pet care franchise, for £900,000 in a combination of cash and shares in Franchise Brands.

The deal represents Franchise Brands’ first acquisition since its IPO in August 2016, when it outlined its strategy to build the group by the selective acquisition of high quality franchise businesses that can benefit from its central services and which address the same B2C market as its existing brands.

Established in 2000 by Lee Dancy, Managing Director, Barking Mad was a pioneer of professionally organised dog sitting services for owners when they are away. It currently has 75 franchised territories across the UK, operated by 71 franchisees. The number of franchisees has grown by nearly 30% over the past four years and Barking Mad’s franchisees service an estimated 20,000 active customers. System sales in the last financial year were £3.1m. Ranked number one on Trust Pilot in the Pets category, the strong level of trust in the brand, coupled with high quality customer service, has also enabled Barking Mad’s franchisees to achieve substantial repeat business.

Barking Mad’s founder and majority shareholder, Lee Dancy, will continue to manage the company whilst being able to draw on the extensive franchising expertise in Franchise Brands’ leadership team and Board.

Franchise Brands believe that there is substantial scope for Barking Mad to grow as part of the wider group with the benefit of its central services and particularly its expertise in marketing. Growth is expected to come from increasing the number of franchised territories and helping Barking Mad’s franchisees continue to successfully grow their businesses. The acquisition sees Franchise Brands add Barking Mad to its portfolio of high quality franchise brands. Together with its two main existing brands, ChipsAway and Ovenclean, the group now has over 400 franchisees in 12 countries.

Stephen Hemsley, Executive Chairman, Franchise Brands, said:

“We are delighted with the acquisition of Barking Mad which fits very well with our strategy of acquiring high quality franchise businesses that can benefit from our central services and which has a similar customer base to that of our two main existing brands, ChipsAway and Ovenclean.

“Barking Mad is the leading franchise provider of dog sitting services in the UK and its franchisees benefit from very high levels of customer satisfaction and repeat business. We look forward to working with Lee and her team to develop the opportunities we see to grow the company’s franchise network and to help Barking Mad’s franchisees continue to successfully build their businesses.”

Lee Dancy, Managing Director, Barking Mad, said:

“We are looking forward to working with the team at Franchise Brands whose clear experience in successfully growing high quality franchise businesses will help us greatly in the next stage of our development. Franchise Brands’ strong central services, and marketing expertise in particular, will be of great value as we continue to grow our network and help our franchisees to grow their businesses. We are very excited about building on our success to date as part of a larger, publicly quoted group with a clear strategy to develop their portfolio of high quality franchise brands.”

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