By James Wells

BRISBANE: Betta Stores Limited (BSL) has sold two Queensland superstores located at Aspley and Morayfield which turnover $16 million to existing group members – Ian Murden and Everard Johnson.

Murden and Johnson, through their company Kempcombe Pty Ltd, currently owns and operates three Betta Electrical stores located at Bundaberg, Maroochydore and Maryborough as well as two Chandlers stores located at Hervey Bay and Mackay.

Kempcombe is the largest franchisee within the BSL Group and has won multiple ‘retailer of the year’ awards from the group.

“As Mr Johnson, as joint owner, does not have a controlling interest in the company the related party provisions contained in the Corporations Act did not apply to the transaction. However, to ensure the transaction was above approach the terms of the sale have been reviewed by an independent third party to confirm they are on a reasonable arms length basis.  In addition, Mr Johnson removed himself from all Board discussions and information relating to the transaction,” BSL said in a statement to the Newcastle Stock Exchange today.

To support the sale and the BSL Group, Kempcombe Pty Ltd have entered into an additional agreement which will see them remain with the BSL Group for a minimum of an additional 5 years when its current franchise agreements are renewed in July this year.

“The offer to purchase from Kempcombe Pty Ltd  allows the BSL Group to meet its strategic objectives while continuing to grow its franchise network.” noted BSL’s CEO Mr Houghton “Everard and Ian have a strong business with an exceptional reputation in the industry and are committed to the Betta Electrical and Chandlers brands.”

Betta Stores Northern will continue to operate the Betta Electrical Superstore at Rothwell and the Chandlers store at Kippa Ring under the direction of General Manager and shareholder, Grant Stapleton.

In the statement, BSL CEO Guy Houghton said the sale is in line with the company’s current direction.

“The sale is consistent with the BSL Group’s recently announced strategy to focus on its core business of franchising and to, over a period of time, franchise its strategically important corporate stores.”

Once certain pre-conditions are satisfied, official handover of the stores is expected to occur on Monday 26 June.