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Clicks to acquire Sorbet beauty franchise for R105m

Health and beauty retailer Clicks Group is set to fully acquire Sorbet Holdings, owners of the national chain of Sorbet beauty salons, for R105m.

The Sorbet Group is a beauty salon franchise chain of over 190 outlets across South Africa, operating under the Sorbet (all-round beauty therapy), Sorbet Man (men’s grooming) and Candi & Co (ethnic hair, treatments and hairstyling) brands.

Clicks Group has owned a 25% stake in Sorbet Brands, which holds the Sorbet intellectual property, since 2015 and will now hold 100% of all Sorbet group entities. Sorbet products are currently sold in Sorbet salons and Clicks stores.

Sorbet is being acquired from Old Mutual Private Equity, which acquired the business as part of the previously listed Long4Life group. Sorbet was founded by Ian Fuhr in 2005.

Natural strategic fit

Bertina Engelbrecht, chief executive officer of Clicks Group, said Sorbet has a natural strategic fit and is closely aligned with Clicks Group’s health, beauty and wellness offering. “Sorbet is a highly trusted brand with a loyal and growing customer base, and we aim to capitalise on the opportunities to expand our presence together and accelerate revenue growth.”

“Since acquiring our shareholding in Sorbet Brands we have worked closely with the management team over the past seven years and developed a shared vision for the business. Sorbet has a strong and entrepreneurial management team and we believe the business will complement the offering of our chain of over 850 Clicks stores nationwide,” she said.

Linda Sinclair, CEO of the Sorbet Group, said Sorbet has walked a successful road with Clicks since becoming an affinity partner in 2011 and then Clicks Group investing in Sorbet Brands in 2015.

“Clicks has played an instrumental role in supporting the growth of Sorbet into becoming the leading professional beauty and grooming franchise brand in South Africa. Built on a culture of putting people first, our values are strongly aligned with Clicks and we look forward to delivering on future growth opportunities as part of the Clicks Group,” said Sinclair.

Foray into franchising

Engelbrecht said the acquisition of Sorbet is the Clicks Group’s first foray into owning a franchise chain. “We support the growth and empowerment of small, independent business ownership and are committed to retaining the highly successful Sorbet franchise model,” she added.

Jacci Myburgh, co-head of Old Mutual Private Equity, said Sorbet was acquired as part of the Long4Life delisting concluded earlier this year. “As Sorbet is below the size of investment that we would typically hold our intent was always to sell the business to an appropriate owner. Clicks is a very logical owner of Sorbet given that it is an existing joint venture stakeholder in the Sorbet brand. We are extremely pleased to have left the business in the right hands while securing a good exit for our investors.”

The transaction is subject to approval by competition authorities.


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