Cooks Coffee Co is looking to acquire “synergistic businesses’ in order to help scale up its business in the UK.

The franchise operator – parent company of Esquires Coffee and Triple Two Coffee – is considering acquisitions as part of a plan to create a ‘house of brands’ that can add share and shareholder value to the business, executive chairman Keith Jackson told British Baker.

“We are looking for complementary businesses that are synergistic with the existing operations and where we can all benefit from economies of scale that the acquisition might bring,” Jackson said.

Cooks Coffee, which was founded in 2008 in New Zealand, switched its focus to expanding revenues from franchised cafés in the UK and Ireland, having restructured its operations and withdrawn from a Chinese joint venture in 2019.

Both brands are set for further UK expansion – Esquires on the high street and in suburban areas in the commuter belt, while Triple Two is targeted at diverse locations, including new residential developments.

The business has also projected strong organic growth in its existing store network in the UK.

Both Esquires and Triple Two saw good trading in 2022 in the UK, with store sales up 21% versus 2021, and 62% on pre-Covid levels. 2022 saw pressure to manage the cost of goods and operating costs, Jackson said, with prices raised to offset some of the cost increases.

“We continue to be encouraged by the resilience shown by the UK market and have a strong new store pipeline and are seeing positive like-for-like sales in the existing network,” he added

Cooks listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and joined the Aquis Exchange in London in November 2022 and currently operates 70 UK cafes, 20 of which are Triple Two branded following its acquisition by Cooks in 2020, and the rest Esquires.

It also has 15 Esquires sites in Ireland, one in Portugal and 25 across the rest of the world.