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New owner for Gloria Jeans globally

Australian owned Gloria Jeans, with a network of 800 coffee shops mostly in Australia and Asia, has been bought by a listed fast food operator.

Retail Food Group has paid AU$163.5 million for the 35 year old business which now boasts 800 cafes in more than 40 countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

RFG already owns Donut King in Australia, local bakery and coffee chain Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakery, Esquires Coffee, Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar and Pizza Capers, Cafe2U and The Coffee Guy.

It is buying the global franchising and coffee roasting business from Gloria Jean’s executive chairman Nabi Saleh’s private company.

Saleh and Peter Irvine brought the franchise to Australia in 1996 opening an outlet in the Sydney suburb of Miranda. Saleh will remain with the business for at least another two years, along with his senior management team.

He said Retail Food Group’s reputation as a food and beverage operator and expertise in building franchise businesses made it ideal to lead the continued expansion of Gloria Jean’s.

Gloria Jean’s has 358 stores in Australia, 87 in the United States and franchises in 40 other countries.

The deal comes four months after the Singapore-based Global Yellow Pages pulled out of a deal to buy the whole group.

Retail Food Group said the global coffee chain had long been a target.

The purchase of Gloria Jeans is expected to be settled by December.

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