Savor Acquires Hipgroup

Amano restaurant

NZX-listed hospitality group Savor, formally Mallbeca, has acquired Hipgroup and its portfolio of eateries for $11 million.

Savor made the announcement to the NZX, saying it would raise new equity capital of $6 million to fund part of the transaction. The equity capital will come by way of a fully underwritten rights issue targeted at raising $6m at 17.67 cents per share.

The acquisition of Hipgroup and its venues Ortolana, The Store and Amano, comes in the form of a cash payment of $7.15m, $1m of ordinary shares, and a deferred cash payment of $2.85m to be paid 12 months from completion. Savor said the acquired venues would contribute to an additional $3m in operating earnings for the group.

In the market update, Savor said the acquisition of these venues, combined with the recent divestment of Moa Brewing, provides the group with a solid financial base for future growth.

"Looking ahead, Savor's growth strategy is two-fold and will focus on opportunities to build on existing brands throughout New Zealand, as well as acquiring new sites," said Savor chairman Geoff Ross.

"The group is poised to leverage the right opportunities with the support of its expert management team and strengthened balance sheet."

The acquisition of Hipgroup is dependent on debt funding arrangements and is expected to settle on April 8.