Retail Food Group Swallows Crust Pizza, But Will Predators Bite?

"Australian Donut King franchisor Retail Food Group looks tastier as a takeover target after purchasing Crust Gourmet Pizza Bars for at least 24 million Australian dollars (US$25 million), according to RBS Morgans analyst Scott Murdoch," according to the Wall Street Journal.

"The quick service restaurant chain operates 119 outlets, mostly in Australia’s two most populous states — New South Wales and Victoria — though it has launched in New Zealand, Singapore and the U.S.

“RFG is more on the radar as a target because of its pizza interests. By buying out a key competitor in Crust, the company will have a strong foothold on the gourmet pizza market given their ownership of Queensland-focused Pizza Capers,” Mr. Murdoch told Deal Journal Australia.

The broker believes RFG’s investment into gourmet pizza reflects the company moving away from brands like Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie and Brumby’s Bakery, which are reliant on shoppers visiting malls and exposed to rising utility and rent costs, as well as food prices."