Australia: Organic Fast Food Chain to Float Shares

Oliver’s Real Foods is looking to float its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in an initial public offer worth up to AUS $15 million.

Oliver’s Real Foods, which bills itself as the world’s first certified organic fast food chain, has 20 stores along major highways on Australia’s east coast, primarily in NSW and Victoria. The company plans to add 40 stores over four years to its network with most of the IPO funds expected to go towards the aggressive roll-out.

Founder and chief executive Jason Gunn began the business 15 years ago after he tired of the burgers, fries, fried chicken and pizzas that dominated roadside dining.

“I imagined after driving the highways of the Australian east coast, that a significant percentage of the population would choose a healthier fast food alternative, if it was only made available to them,” Mr Gunn says in a letter to investors in the company’s prospectus.

Mr Gunn has some heavyweight industry experience behind him: ex-McDonald’s boss Peter Rodwell, who managed the burger chain’s operations in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Africa for 12 years, owns shares and is an independent director of Oliver’s. And a former Wendy’s ice creamery franchisee and former McDonald’s employee, Amanda Robson, is the company’s project director in charge of the store rollout plan.

Oliver’s accounts for three per cent of a $1 billion east coast highway dining market that is dominated by McDonald’s, KFC and Hungry Jacks, according to the company’s prospectus. Currently more than two million diners eat at Oliver’s each year, with sales expected to hit $21 million in 2016/17. The diverse menu includes gourmet pita pockets, curries, soup, chia pudding pods, freshly squeezed juices, gluten-free options and more than 50 per cent is organic food.

Oliver’s also sells a range of health and well-being books, DVDs and CDs and mainly has stand-alone sites near Caltex, Shell and BP service stations. Shares are being offered 30 cents each in the IPO and Oliver’s plans to list on the ASX on June 14.

Sustainable Foods Summit
The premier Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit will give an update on the organic food market. This executive summit will take place in Singapore on 28-29th November, whilst the Latin American edition will be hosted in São Paulo on 18-20th September. More details are on the website

Source: The West Australian (19/05)