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: : Jan - Jun 2008

Subway franchisee faces bankruptcy. A Christchurch Subway store owner is accusing the multi-national sandwich chain of flooding the city with too many stores, bringing her to the brink of bankruptcy. .... [more] 28 Jun, 2008
Restaurant Brands prepared to quit Pizza Hut. The Pizza Hut New Zealand chain could be put up for sale if owner Restaurant Brands is unable to turn it around. Describing Pizza Hut as his company's "Achilles' heel", Restaurant Brands chairman Ted van Arkel today said the board would consider any actions that might end the drain by Pizza Hut on company profits. .... [more] 19 Jun, 2008
Life Pharmacy looks at ways to raise up to $8m. Life Pharmacy is looking at ways to raise up to $8 million in the next two to three months, to be used for working capital management and acquisition capital. .... [more] 16 Jun, 2008
OctaFuel Grabbing Worldwide Attention. New Zealand’s only suppliers and installers of retrofitted OctaFuel Hybrid Fuel Cells – has drawn worldwide attention and interest, says Michael Fresnel, Co-Founder and General Manager of OctaFuel New Zealand. .... [more] 15 Jun, 2008
BurgerFuel makes loss. Gourmet burger company BurgerFuel has reported a $2.1 million loss for the nine-and-a-half month period to March 31. .... [more] 12 Jun, 2008
New Hybrid Fuel Cell franchise launches. OctaFuel’s environmental fuel-saving Hybrid Fuel Cell retro-fits to 99.9% of all vehicles – provides up to 40% savings at the pump. At a time when motorists are seriously tired of escalating petrol prices, OctaFuel’s timing couldn’t be better, suggests Michael Fresnel, General Manager, OctaFuel New Zealand. .... [more] 6 Jun, 2008
Blue Chip rally tomorrow - lawyers offer free help. Disgruntled Blue Chip investors are gathering for a rally in Hamilton tomorrow, as the nation's lawyers announce they too will be offering free advice for victims of the collapse. .... [more] 4 Jun, 2008
Pizza Hut tipped to gain in 'shakeout'. Another flagging performance from Pizza Hut dragged fast-food operator Restaurant Brands’ total store sales down 0.9 per cent in its first quarter to May 19, but the company says the current economic downturn will have significant benefits for Pizza Hut. .... [more] 28 May, 2008
Restaurant Brands same store sales up. Restaurant Brands said today that same store sales in the May quarter rose 0.4 per cent across its three brands, KFC, Starbucks and Pizza Hut. .... [more] 27 May, 2008
Mike Pero Mortgages Finds New Home In Rotorua. Mike Pero Mortgages has opened its first office in Rotorua, servicing a large area surrounding the tourist city. .... [more] 22 May, 2008
The Blue Chip scandal: The franchise deal. On September 10 last year, listed company Blue Chip Financial Services spun off its New Zealand operations to a newly created entity called Diem Ltd. .... [more] 18 May, 2008
SFO investigating Blue Chip, Bridgecorp. The Serious Fraud Office will have its work cut out investigating allegedly fraudulent investments that have left Kiwis around $600 million out of pocket. .... [more] 17 May, 2008
NZ Wendy's unaffected by US takeover. A $US2.3 billion ($NZ3.1 billion) takeover of fast food operator Wendy's International, and expected job cuts, will have no impact on the New Zealand franchise. .... [more] 13 May, 2008
Mike Pero Opens New Office In Alpine Resort. Mike Pero Mortgages has officially opened its latest office in the resort town of Queenstown. Franchisee Mark Magill bought the Queenstown/Wanaka franchise in February and says he is looking forward to operating out of the new Queenstown office. .... [more] 13 May, 2008
New call for action on Blue Chip. The barrister acting for about 300 clients of Blue Chip is renewing calls for the failed property investor to be put under statutory management so a "coordinated investigation" can be conducted into the collapse. .... [more] 7 May, 2008
BurgerFuel lands in Dubai. Fast food operator BurgerFuel said today its hamburgers would be available in Dubai by year's end, following the signing of a master franchise agreement between BurgerFuel Worldwide and Dubai based Alphamed Group. .... [more] 5 May, 2008
Kleins jewellery in administration. An Australia-based jewellery retailer with 16 New Zealand stores has gone into voluntary administration. Kleins, which has between 48 to 80 staff in New Zealand, has collapsed owing more than $A20 million ($NZ24.2 million). .... [more] 5 May, 2008
Life Pharmacy acquires Care Chemist Services. Care Chemist Services Ltd and Life Pharmacy Limited today signed a Heads of Agreement which will see Care Chemists joining the LPL group. LPL has acquired Care Chemists for an undisclosed sum and will continue to operate the Care Chemist franchise company as a separate legal entity. .... [more] 2 May, 2008
Lonestar in Petone heritage precinct draws ire. Some Petone residents are angry they are getting little say about the revamp of a building in the heritage precinct. And they fear the planned Lonestar restaurant is part of a trend to turn Jackson Street into a Courtenay Place-style party strip. .... [more] 29 Apr, 2008
Europcar commences first direct operations outside of Europe. Europcar has entered into an agreement to acquire the Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries of ECA Car Rental, which operates its "Master Franchise" within the Asia-Pacific region. .... [more] 29 Apr, 2008

Blue Chip creditors owed 'much more'. The liquidator of companies entangled in the Blue Chip property investment failure says the amount owed to creditors is $84.3 million - much more than originally estimated. .... [more] 24 Apr, 2008
Scam victims seek full compensation. The lawyers for defrauded franchisees of a Green Acres scam will be issuing a letter demanding full compensation for victims' losses, possibly today. .... [more] 23 Apr, 2008
Restaurant franchisee happy with change in ownership. The sale of the Cobb & Co chain has been welcomed by the New Plymouth franchisee Glenn Corbett. The chain has been bought by franchise king Geoff MacRae, who already controls several nationwide franchises, including Valentines Restaurant & Bar, Palmers Garden World and Sierra Coffee. .... [more] 23 Apr, 2008
Allied Brands eyes New Zealand market. Listed franchise developer Allied Brands Ltd will extend its gift shop chain, Kenny's Cardiology, to New Zealand, opening its first outlet there from July 1. .... [more] 17 Apr, 2008
Blue Chip NZ Ltd placed in liquidation. Blue Chip New Zealand Ltd has been placed in liquidation today, as outlined by parent company Northern Crest Investments Ltd last Thursday. .... [more] 15 Apr, 2008
VTL completes sale in California. VTL Group Ltd has completed the sale of its Southern Californian vending business assets to a Californian company for $US1.7 ($NZ2.15) million. .... [more] 11 Apr, 2008
Restaurant Brands reports 50pc profits rise. Fast food operator Restaurant Brands has announced a more than 50 per cent lift in profits for the year to February, mainly on the back of a strong performance from the KFC chain. .... [more] 10 Apr, 2008
BBQ Factory stores to be shut. Industrial and retail conglomerate Hellaby Holdings is shutting a third of its BBQ Factory stores as it seeks to stem a stream of losses at the outdoor lifestyle chain. .... [more] 9 Apr, 2008
Language help for franchise buyers. The Franchise Association of New Zealand will soon release key advice about franching in several languages to help non-English speaking New Zealand residents understand franchise offers more fully. .... [more] 7 Apr, 2008
Harcourts takes brand further afield. Harcourts, the country's largest real estate network, has taken its biggest steps abroad yet by expanding into China and Zambia. .... [more] 5 Apr, 2008
Paper Plus still targeting Borders. New Zealand's Paper Plus is still trying to reach a deal to buy Borders' Australasian bookstores, including one in Riccarton, Christchurch. .... [more] 28 Mar, 2008
Blue Chip severs ties with NZ franchise. Embattled finance property finance company Blue Chip has washed its hands of the New Zealand franchise. .... [more] 26 Mar, 2008
Liquidator given Govt funding for Blue Chip investigation. The liquidator of the 20 failed Blue Chip related companies says he has secured government funding for an investigation into the group. .... [more] 26 Mar, 2008
Chilean faces ruin over franchise. Green Acres, the country's largest franchise business, has rejected accusations it's been heavy-handed in its treatment of an Auckland man. .... [more] 23 Mar, 2008
No Blue Chip statutory management - minister. Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel has rejected calls for statutory management of a string of Blue Chip companies and backed the approach the liquidator is taking. .... [more] 20 Mar, 2008
Kiwibank lifts half year profit to $22.7m. State-owned Kiwibank has announced a half year audited profit of $22.7 million after tax, compared to $17.2m for the same period last year. .... [more] 20 Mar, 2008
VTL says California sale nearly final. Troubled vending machine franchise company VTL Group says it is at the due diligence stage in the sale of its 24seven vending business system operation in southern California. .... [more] 19 Mar, 2008
NZ Lotto tickets online 'next month'. NZ Lotteries may begin selling Lotto tickets online as early as next month, according to franchisees, some of whom fear the effects on their businesses already feeling the pinch from plummeting consumer confidence. .... [more] 17 Mar, 2008
McDonald's gets tick for hygiene compliance. An environmental health officer yesterday visited McDonald's in Invercargill amid allegations of unhygienic practices at the family restaurant. .... [more] 15 Mar, 2008
Victims say firm demanding money. When Green Acres ironing franchisee Ajay Kumar Verma received a call from the company headquarters to attend a meeting two weeks ago, he thought the bosses would be giving him good news about getting some of his money back. Instead, Mr Verma said, he was asked to sign a "rescue package". .... [more] 13 Mar, 2008
Paper Plus eyes bid for Borders chain. The collapse of A&R Whitcoulls' bid to buy the Borders bookstore chain's Australasian stores leaves the door open for local contender Paper Plus. .... [more] 12 Mar, 2008
Blue Chip investors told cash may come in May. Distressed Blue Chip investors were encouraged yesterday to ask their banks to freeze mortgage repayments so they could save their properties. .... [more] 12 Mar, 2008
Rival chain aims to knock KFC off its perch. Feathers are set to fly as the country's biggest burger chain takes on the largest chicken franchise on its own patch - selling chicken. .... [more] 11 Mar, 2008
Green Acres ordeal gets worse for franchisee. The nightmare has turned from bad to worse for Green Acres franchisee Phoebe Yang, as a finance company starts demanding repayments from her for a loan to buy equipment she never received. .... [more] 10 Mar, 2008
Grass is greener on other side of the franchise. Many headlines have been generated by the unfortunate saga of the sale of non-existent Green Acres franchises by a master franchisee to up to 200 unsuspecting sub-franchisees. .... [more] 10 Mar, 2008
Blue Chip debt put at $59m. About 2000 Blue Chip investors are $58.7 million out of pocket through the collapse of 19 companies linked with the property investment franchise. .... [more] 8 Mar, 2008
Franchisees move on Green Power. Six people claiming to have been sold non-existent businesses from commercial cleaning company Green Power formally complained to the Commerce Commission yesterday, and three others contacted National MP Pansy Wong's office for help. .... [more] 6 Mar, 2008
KFC a winner but pizza continues to flop. KFC sales continued to grow well and Pizza Hut kept on sinking as Restaurant Brands reported fourth quarter sales up 1 per cent on a year earlier. .... [more] 6 Mar, 2008
NZ Natural pemium ice cream outlet in Kolkata. New Zealand Natural, a premium ice cream franchise network under desserts producer Emerald Foods Ltd, opened its first standalone outlet in Kolkata on Wednesday. .... [more] 5 Mar, 2008
Mide Limited collapses. Another key part of the Blue Chip New Zealand franchise network has collapsed owing $11.6 million that the liquidators say won't be recoverable. .... [more] 5 Mar, 2008
FranExcel helps Burger Fuel secure master area developer for UAE. Burger Fuel, the New Zealand based gourmet burger company, has signed a letter of intent with a UAE-based operator, to develop their stores across the country, with the assistance of FranExcel. .... [more] 4 Mar, 2008
Boost for franchise group after fraud tales. Membership of the Franchise Association has surged after the Green Acres franchising scandal. Twelve new franchising systems have become members of the industry body in the first five weeks of this year, compared with four over the same period last year. .... [more] 3 Mar, 2008
Green Power points finger at franchisees. The manager of the Green Power commercial cleaning company - which is being investigated by police for allegedly selling bogus franchise businesses - says the decision not to release a news statement through mainstream media was because the firm dealt mainly with the Chinese community. .... [more] 29 Feb, 2008
Green Power franchisees are lying, mystery woman tells Chinese radio. A woman claiming to represent commercial cleaning company Green Power - which is at the centre of a police probe for allegedly selling bogus franchise businesses - has defended the firm on Chinese radio. .... [more] 28 Feb, 2008
Migrants cry foul over new franchise deal. Police are investigating an alleged scam in which people, mainly Chinese immigrants, claim to have been sold non-existent franchise businesses. It is believed as many as 30 people may have been conned in the latest case, involving commercial cleaning franchise company Green Power. .... [more] 26 Feb, 2008
Cutting the risks of franchising firms. In business, a one-of-a-kind idea is sometimes too good not to replicate, hence the success of franchising. Amanda Morrall does a double take on one of the fastest-growing business models in New Zealand. When it comes to franchising, nobody does it quite like McDonald's. .... [more] 25 Feb, 2008
Blue Chip liquidator welcomes $25m pledge to repay. Liquidators of the companies related to Blue Chip's New Zealand franchisee are "delighted" at the company founder's pledge of $25 million to repay investors. .... [more] 22 Feb, 2008
Kiwibank to turn $40m profit this year. Kiwibank would declare a profit of $40 million this year, Cabinet Minister Jim Anderton said today. .... [more] 22 Feb, 2008
Serious Fraud Office looks into Blue Chip. The Serious Fraud Office is looking into property investment business Blue Chip. New SFO director and chief executive Grant Liddell said investigations started last Wednesday, based on complaints made to the office. .... [more] 22 Feb, 2008
Gen-i buys Computer Plus Otago. Telecom's IT services subsidiary Gen-i has bought Computer Plus Otago (CPO), a Gen-i franchisee. .... [more] 20 Feb, 2008
Blue Chip probed. Property consultant Ollie Newland believes the Commerce Commission's decision to investigate whether Blue Chip breached the Fair Trading Act is the first step in recovering millions of dollars owed to 30 investors he represents. .... [more] 20 Feb, 2008
McDonald's upgrade to include McCafe. A $1.6m facelift at McDonald's is another step in Masterton's transformation from a town to a city, says Masterton McDonald's franchisee Roger Knapper. .... [more] 19 Feb, 2008
Blue chip landlords advised to terminate leases. Urgent notices are being issued to investors who bought properties from real estate businesses associated with Blue Chip, telling them to terminate their lease deals. .... [more] 19 Feb, 2008
Blue Chip action group set up. An action group for Blue Chip investors has been formed by EUFA, the ginger group set up to bring failed finance firms to account. .... [more] 18 Feb, 2008
Concerned Blue Chip investors face further delays. Jeff Meltzer, liquidator of 19 property companies associated with Blue Chip's New Zealand franchisee, has applied to the High Court for extra time to prepare his first reports. .... [more] 18 Feb, 2008
Pizza war to enter next battle. The cut-throat pizza business in New Zealand is gearing up for a new round of hostility, as market heavyweight Domino's and Hell try to hold on to slipping profit margins in a world of soaring cheese prices. .... [more] 17 Feb, 2008
Kiwibank post a good result. The Kiwibank success story continues to roll on with the bank passing the 600,000-customer mark as it approaches its sixth anniversary. .... [more] 17 Feb, 2008
Blue Chip delays statement. Structured residential property investor Blue Chip Financial Solutions now says it will be next week before it issues a statement on its situation. .... [more] 16 Feb, 2008
VTL posts 14-month loss of $133m, as expected. Troubled vending machine franchise company VTL Group reported an audited loss of $133 million for the 14 months to August, slightly below guidance earlier this month. .... [more] 15 Feb, 2008
Franchisees angry at house sale. Defrauded Green Acres franchisees are furious that the house they knew as belonging to Keith Lapham - the man who allegedly conned them of millions - is up for auction. .... [more] 14 Feb, 2008
Blue Chip investors want government intervention. Calls are being made for the Government to bring in a statutory manager to help Blue Chip investors hurt by a string of liquidations. Nineteen companies associated with Blue Chip are in liquidation, although Blue Chip's New Zealand franchisee, Diem Ltd, and its listed Australian parent company say they are solvent. .... [more] 14 Feb, 2008
Franchise Association Calls For Positive Regulation. The Franchise Association of New Zealand has come out in favour of franchise regulation with calls for six specific recommendations to be included in legislation currently before parliament. .... [more] 13 Feb, 2008
Blue Chip businesses into liquidation, trading halt in Aust. Blue Chip's multi-million dollar property investment franchisees in New Zealand have gone into liquidation, leaving the financial future of thousands of investors up in the air. .... [more] 13 Feb, 2008
Franchise owners look to buy out all of United Travel. The company representing United Travel's 97 franchise owners says it is considering a buy-out of the travel agency after negative fallout from its association with financially troubled Australian firm MFS, owner of the Stella Group. .... [more] 12 Feb, 2008
Franchise image takes a battering. The multi-billion dollar franchise industry is bracing itself for a backlash following the recent Green Acres scandal. .... [more] 9 Feb, 2008
Franchisees' fresh allegations against ex-Green Acres agent. Franchisees of the multimillion-dollar Green Acres ironing business fiasco say they have lost money more than once to the company's former area manager Keith Lapham. .... [more] 9 Feb, 2008
Flattened by franchise master. Franchise fugitive Keith Lapham expects loyalty from his friends and offers the same in return. .... [more] 9 Feb, 2008
Subway Celebrates 200th Store Milestone. The opening of New Zealand’s 200th Subway store makes this one of the most successful countries in the world for the international sandwich franchise, says Regional Director Brian Tap. .... [more] 8 Feb, 2008
Ultimatum for Blue Chip firms. Statutory demands for more than $315,000 have been made against four associates of property specialist Blue Chip by investors who want their money back. .... [more] 8 Feb, 2008
Ikea not coming - because they'd be too popular. The prospect of giant homeware/furnishings business Ikea opening in New Zealand has long been anticipated and hoped for by fans of their low-priced designer goods. But the chances of the chain opening here just took a step backwards. .... [more] 7 Feb, 2008
Labour link irks scam victims. The appointment of a Labour Party ethnic adviser as chairman of Franchise Watch, and the group's meeting with a lawyer touted as a possible Labour candidate at this year's election, is cracking up the united front of victims in the Keith Lapham scam. .... [more] 30 Jan, 2008
Green Acres will harm franchise industrry: consultant. The multi-million dollar Green Acres ironing franchise debacle is likely to have a domino effect on the franchising industry, says a business consultant who specialises in reputation issues. .... [more] 29 Jan, 2008
Minister wades into $3m scam row. Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter says Green Acres has treated victims of a scam in a "devious" and "ruthless" way. .... [more] 29 Jan, 2008
Makeover for Guthrie Bowron. Owners of the Guthrie Bowron franchise are renovating one of the country's oldest brands and aiming to increase its share of the home decorating market. .... [more] 28 Jan, 2008
Blue Chip furious at rival. As embattled property promoter Blue Chip announced a deal with real estate company Harcourts last week, its lawyers were firing a warning shot across the bow of rival real estate agency City Sales. .... [more] 27 Jan, 2008
Green Acres victims turn to MPs for help. Desperate defrauded Green Acres franchisees, some of whom are running out of money, are holding meetings with politicians to try to get their money back. .... [more] 25 Jan, 2008
Kiwibank drops rate amid rises. Kiwibank has dropped its five-year-fixed mortgage rate to 8.75 per cent as the cost of wholesale funding becomes cheaper. .... [more] 23 Jan, 2008
Fix-it job not easy, says Blue Chip boss. Blue Chip executive director Mark Bryers says deadlines for late rent payments promised to investors are overly optimistic and not all payment dates can be met. .... [more] 23 Jan, 2008
Lapham agrees to meet Fraud Office. Former Green Acres master franchisee Keith Lapham will be questioned by the Serious Fraud Office today, a source told the Herald. .... [more] 22 Jan, 2008
Blue Chip in the middle. Embattled property promoter Blue Chip Financial Solutions appears to be between a rock and hard place as it comes under fire from all sides. .... [more] 20 Jan, 2008
Ironing scam victims suffer second setback. Defrauded franchisees of former Green Acres master franchisee Keith Lapham were dealt a further blow yesterday. .... [more] 19 Jan, 2008
$5m ironing franchise fraudster found hiding out on North Shore. Disgraced former Green Acres franchise master Keith Lapham has been found hiding in a North Shore house since his disappearance just before Christmas. .... [more] 17 Jan, 2008
Green Acres victims take to legal action. Victims of the Keith Lapham franchise scam plan to take legal action against the parent company Green Acres. .... [more] 14 Jan, 2008
Franchising's success rate shows value of safeguards. Nothing matters more to a business than its good name. That axiom rings particularly true when the name is that of New Zealand's largest franchise, with almost 1000 franchisees doing more than a million services each year. .... [more] 12 Jan, 2008
Lapham took $500,000 in a fortnight - driver. A man who spent a year driving for alleged franchise fraudster Keith Lapham believes his former boss took almost $500,000 from new ironing franchisees in the fortnight before his disappearance. .... [more] 12 Jan, 2008
Company offer rejected by duped franchisees. The majority of those who bought fake ironing franchises have rejected a rescue package from the company they thought they were investing in. .... [more] 11 Jan, 2008
Conditions for Green Acres franchisees. Would-be Green Acres franchise holders will have to fall in to line with company standards if they want to stay in business. .... [more] 10 Jan, 2008
Cheated franchisee loses faith in New Zealand. A Chinese immigrant who became a victim of a franchise scam says the experience has left her disillusioned with New Zealand. .... [more] 10 Jan, 2008
Stars used in franchise rort. Green Acres has offered a rescue package to victims of a $3 million fraud that used names like Brad Pitt, Diana Spencer, Nancy Reagan and Ayrton Senna for fictitious customers wanting clothes ironed. .... [more] 10 Jan, 2008
Green Acres to honour franchise agreements. Would-be Green Acres franchise holders allegedly robbed of tens of thousands of dollars by scamming franchise master Keith Lapham will have their franchise agreements honoured. .... [more] 9 Jan, 2008
Company admits 'moral responsibility' after $3m rip-off. Green Acres said it has a moral responsibility to the victims of a $3 million fraud carried out by a franchisee and will offer a "rescue package". .... [more] 8 Jan, 2008
Commerce Minister to review franchise laws. Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel is going to consider tightening franchise laws after about 200 people were fleeced in a $3 million scam. .... [more] 8 Jan, 2008
Franchise scam under investigation by SFO. People who lost thousands of dollars in a franchise scam have been told the Serious Fraud Office will treat the case as a priority. .... [more] 7 Jan, 2008
Scam victims seeking political help. The victims of the alleged Green Acres franchise scam say they are still waiting for authorities to take action, two weeks after first complaining to police. .... [more] 3 Jan, 2008
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