By James Wells

BRISBANE: Betta Stores Limited (BSL) issued a statement this afternoon titled ‘BSL disappointed by Ballina defection’ which explained the breakdown in the relationship with the group’s former member, Greg Bambrook.

“BSL has expressed its disappointment at being advised yesterday that its Ballina Betta Electrical store has changed its trading name and is advising customers it is no longer a Betta Electrical store,” the statement said.

“While still advertising as Ballina Betta Electrical, all Betta Electrical branding has been removed at the store.

“Only a couple of weeks ago Ballina Betta Electrical proprietor Greg Bambrook had assured BSL that reports in industry media that he was planning to depart the BSL Group were false. Given Mr Bambrook’s assurances, BSL continued to support and service the Ballina Betta Electrical store in line with his existing franchise agreement.

“Last week Mr Bambrook indicated he was assessing his commercial options. However, he did not have the courtesy to advise of his future intentions, despite requests by the BSL Group.

“It is now understood that subject to BSL granting a release from his existing franchise agreement, which has a minimum 15 months to run, he will attempt to operate as an independent not aligned to any group.”

In the statement, BSL CEO Guy Houghton: “expressed his disgust and disappointment that after many years of supporting Greg and his Ballina Betta Electrical and Chandlers stores, Greg did not have the common courtesy to discuss his plans, instead choosing to lead BSL along with incorrect statements regarding his loyalty to the BSL Group”.

“We have given Greg substantial support over the years, including selecting him to participate as our pilot BSL-W store on special rates and terms,” Houghton said.

“However, in hindsight, the outcome of this project should have been a warning bell for the current course of action.

“It is unfortunate that things have to turn to this. However the BSL Group will take all steps necessary to protect its interest, including commencing legal proceedings.” contacted Bambrook this afternoon and he said that there was nothing further to comment on at this stage.

“I have no comment to make. The best thing at the moment is to stay quiet,” he said.