Ver­i­tas gets an­other fort­night for Nosh sale

Central Leader - - SPORT - HAMISH MCNI­COL

The dead­line for a pos­si­ble sale of trou­bled gourmet su­per­mar­ket brand Nosh has been pushed back to the end of the month.

In De­cem­ber, the listed com­pany which owns Nosh, Ver­i­tas In­vest­ments, said it had un­til Jan­uary 16 to pro­vide ANZ with an un­con­di­tional con­tract for the sale of Nosh, or with a pro­posal to wind it down.

If it failed to find a buyer Ver­i­tas, which also owned the Mad Butcher fran­chise, had to wind down Nosh by the end of March.

Ver­i­tas had listed six Nosh stores on Trade Me with ask­ing prices of be­tween $400,000 and $1.2 mil­lion.

On Mon­day the com­pany said it had re­ceived ‘‘a num­ber’’ of ap­proaches from po­ten­tial buy­ers of Nosh.

It had en­tered into dis­cus- sions with sev­eral par­ties as a re­sult, and ANZ had agreed to ex­tend the date for a pro­posal to the end of the month.

Nosh made a loss of $1.9 mil­lion last year, and Ver­i­tas had been work­ing to fran­chise Nosh stores.

Last week, one of the fran­chised stores in Auck­land ap­peared to split from Nosh.

The store on Con­stel­la­tion Drive had re­moved its Nosh sig­nage and ap­peared to be at­tempt­ing to re­move all ref­er­ences to the brand.

A shop­per at the Con­stel­la­tion Drive shop in Auck­land said the store had gone as far as scrib­bling over Nosh lo­gos on items such as cheese, which had Nosh pric­ing la­bels stuck on the out­side of their pack­ag­ing.

When she paid for her shop­ping, the cashier tore the Nosh logo from the top of her re­ceipt, she said.

A sign at the check-out told cus­tomers it was no longer Nosh and said that due to changed ar­range­ments, Amer­i­can Ex­press would no longer be ac­cepted.

Owner Phil Mead would not say what lay be­hind the changes, or whether his plan was to trade in­de­pen­dently.

On Mon­day, Ver­i­tas said the fran­chisee had in­di­cated it in­tended to op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently of the Nosh brand and ter­mi­nated its fran­chise agree­ment.

‘‘Ver­i­tas does not ac­cept that ter­mi­na­tion, and the par­ties are in dis­pute over the mat­ter.’’

The Nosh store had been sold a few days be­fore Ver­i­tas’ De­cem­ber an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing ANZ’s ul­ti­ma­tum.

The en­tity which had owned the Nosh Con­stel­la­tion store was put into re­ceiver­ship by Ver­i­tas a week ear­lier.

JANNA DIXON

Nosh’s six stores were listed on TradeMe in Novem­ber.

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