soul in the viaduct. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Major upscale national hospitality company Nourish Group has been sold in a private deal announced this morning.
Mark Turnbull, a director of Foley Holdings NZ and chief executive of Foley Wines, which is listed on the NZX, said the holding company bought Nourish, which owns and operates exclusive restaurants in Auckland, Taupō, Wellington and Queenstown.
Nourish has Soul in Auckland’s Viaduct, Andiamo in Herne Bay, Jervois Steak House in Queenstown, Wellington’s Pravda Cafe and Grill, Shed 5 on Wellington’s Queens Wharf, Britomart’s The Chamberlain, The Crab Shack Wellington, Bistro Lago in Taupō, Talulah and The Brit both at Britomart in Auckland.
More than 400 people work for the group, which was set to be sold to NZX-listed Good Spirits Hospitality in a conditional deal announced last year but later scrapped.
In November, Good Spirits announced it would purchase Nourish with 10 venues, bringing the total venue count to around 20. Industry veteran Richard Sigley was set to join the Good Spirits board.
But that was all called off in April, with Good Spirits telling the NZX: “While its major shareholder supported this transaction and agreed to provide the debt portion of the transaction, interest from potential equity partners has been significantly hampered by investors’ inability to travel to New Zealand and uncertainty about.” further restrictions of the Covid protection framework for New Zealand hospitality in the future.
Today, Foley’s Turnbull said: “The holding company bought 100 per cent of the Nourish Group this week. Prior to that, she held a 24.9 percent stake in the group for nearly nine years.
“When the Good Spirits hospitality deal didn’t go through, it felt like there was significant synergy with other Foley investments in New Zealand,” Turnbull said.
These included Wharekauhau Country Estate and Foley Wines, where significant hospitality investments are underway in conjunction with the new development of Te Kairanga in Wairarapa.
Foley is also expanding its Mt Difficulty operations in Central Otago.
No price was set for the deal, Turnbull said it was a private transaction.
Good Spirits put $21.3 million on its base purchase price when it announced its deal last November. An additional $5.9 million was payable 12 to 24 months after settlement via an agreed earnout formula based on venue outperformance.
Turnbull said today the Foley acquisition is significant.
“This shows the long-term confidence in the industry,” he said of the purchase, which brings more certainty to the group’s future.
Foley Wines brands include Te Karinga, Vavasour, Mt Difficulty, Russian Jack, Vavasour’s Dashwood, Mt Difficulty’s Roaring Meg, Grove Mill, Martinborough Vineyard, Lighthouse Gin, Sanctuary, Te Tera, Goldwater, Boatshed Bay, and Clifford Bay The Pass .
At the Wairarapa, Foley Wines is completing a new venue featuring a distillery, 100-person restaurant with an additional private dining room, outdoor patio, wedding venue and function areas.
A tasting room and tours are also planned. The underground barrel hall will meet the growing needs of Te Kairanga Winery on the same property, the company said.
It is also expanding its Mt Difficulty operations in Central Otago.
“Our goal is to be New Zealand’s most respected wine group by owning iconic wineries in the country’s most prestigious regions and inspiring the most discerning retailers and restaurants around the world,” says the company.
The Nourish Group said that in its two decades of existence it has become the “benchmark” for the hospitality industry in this country.
Late last year, Nourish Group’s restaurant Euro announced its closure, blaming the impact of the pandemic.
Foley Wines is trading around $1.45 today and has a market cap of $95 million.