Munich (dpa) - The burger chain «Hans im Glück» has new owners. The founder and previous majority owner Thomas Hirschberger sells his 90 percent stake, according to the company, the corresponding contracts were signed on Friday.
The chain's new shareholders with 81 branches in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Singapore include the founders of Backwerk, Dirk Schneider and Hans-Christian Limmer as well as the previous minority shareholder GAB.
According to the company, the two previous directors of “Hans im Glück”, Johannes Bühler and Jens Hallbauer, will remain on board. Buehler's father Gerd Bühler owns the GAB. There should be no changes for franchisees, employees and business partners, as was said on Friday. The new shareholders are committed to continuity. The expansion will also continue. "With 15 new openings expected," Hans im Glück "will continue to grow in 2020," said Managing Director Hallbauer. "Other locations are planned in Basel, Trier and Halle, among others."
According to “Hans im Glück”, the shares will be taken over entirely from the shareholders' own funds: “No new liabilities will be assumed for the transaction,” the company emphasized. "On the contrary, with the transfer to the new group of shareholders, the economic performance of the group of companies will be significantly strengthened." According to the company, "Hans im Glück" was able to increase its sales from 120 to 147 million euros in 2019 and achieve a positive operating result. At first nothing was known about the purchase price and the exact new ownership structure.
Founder Hirschberger said that he was “proud and relieved” to hand over the company to a “strong group of shareholders”. According to a company spokesman, it was initially still unclear whether he would continue to operate individual restaurants as franchisees. Earlier in the week it was said that this was planned.
“Hans im Glück” has grown rapidly in the ten years since it was founded. The restaurants with the characteristic birch trunks offer high-quality burgers for a young, urban target group, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Basically, the burger roasters in Germany are not doing badly. If you look at the segment without the classic fast food chains, the number of visitors has increased significantly in recent years, as Andreas Lauszat from market researcher npdgroup says. From July 2018 to June 2019, according to the Crest consumer panel, they had around 43 million guests. This is an increase of 9.5 percent and significantly faster than the overall catering market. "We continue to expect growth in this segment, albeit with lower growth rates," says Lauszat. "Burgers will always go, but the hype is over - also because there are other exciting new concepts."