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Burger Fuel exploring sale after review questions merits

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 15 (BusinessDesk) - Burger Fuel Worldwide will test the waters for a potential buyer after a review by KPMG questioned the fast-food franchisor's current listing.

The fast-food company, which listed on NZX's junior Alternative Market in 2007, hired the corporate advisory firm to assess options to accelerate the business's growth after a partnership with the founders of the Subway franchise fell through.

As a result of that review, Burger Fuel will focus on its New Zealand growth and the roll-out two new brands it thinks could then be franchised: Winner Winner is a chicken dinner; Shake Out is a quick-service burger concept.

KPMG questioned Burger Fuel's listing, saying the company has a strong balance sheet with no debt and didn't need new capital. KPMG also noted its shares are illiquid and volatile.

Founders Chris Mason and Josef Roberts still control the company, with about 73 percent, leaving the remainder shared among the 2,517 stockholders on the register. The shares last traded at 55 cents, the lowest level since late 2011, valuing the business at $30.3 million.

Burger Fuel's board have expanded KPMG's original mandate to now explore all strategic options for the business.

"KPMG will therefore shortly begin preparation to conduct a formal process seeking expressions of interest regarding a sale, merger, joint venture, international partnership, domestic partnership or alternative proposals that may arise from the process," the company said in a statement.

"The board will keep the market updated with any developments should they occur throughout the on-going strategic review process."


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