JSE-listed branded food services franchisor Famous Brands has bought a 51% interest in Italian restaurant business Lupa Osteria, which has three franchised restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal, for an undisclosed amount.
“Over the past year, our stated strategy has been to explore and capitalise on opportunities in the casual dining category – one of the quickest growing segments in the restaurant industry over the past decade. Our more recent acquisitions, including the Mythos brand, demonstrate our progress in pursuit of this goal,” commented Famous Brands CEO Darren Hele.
He added that the acquisition furthered Famous Brands’ ambition to extend its presence in the casual dining market space.
Lupa Osteria was founded by Guy Cluver and Chris Black. They would remain responsible for managing the business with Famous Brands’ support.
“When we conceptualised Lupa four years ago, underpinning our strategy was the belief that we could grow the brand nationwide. We were confident that if the brand found
traction in the KwaZulu-Natal market, as it has, it would do well elsewhere.
“Since launching Lupa, we have been approached by other major players in the industry and are delighted to be able to choose Famous Brands as a partner. With its extensive experience and infrastructure, [Famous Brands] will help us realise our ambitions for Lupa,” commented Cluver.
The short-term plan would be to grow Lupa’s footprint to six restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal, with the longer-term plan to open a network of 35 restaurants across South Africa and select African countries.