NZX-listed Veritas Investments is looking to sell franchises for six high-profile Nosh stores in Auckland.

The franchises on the block are in Matakana, Ponsonby, Glen Innes, Mt Eden, Greenlane and Pakuranga - sites currently operated by the company.

In a Weekend Herald advertisement, ABC Business Sales said the sales were a "great opportunity to get into a successful gourmet grocery, retail business with an excellent set-up, quality fitout, and high visibility locations. These business are well established and have a steady clientele".

Realtor Peter Nola said the stores would be priced according to location and foot traffic, with some a lot bigger than others.


So far he had seen huge interest from the advertisement, much of which came from individuals.

"People like the comfort of a brand, and it's a great opportunity for someone who loves food to get into a business," he said.

Finding franchisees had always been a part of owner Veritas' strategy, said Nola.

Veritas, which also owns Mad Butcher and Better Bar Company, reported a full-year loss of $4.6m for the year ended June 30.

At the Veritas' annual meeting this month, the chairman of the New Zealand Shareholders Association, John Hawkins, reportedly questioned whether Veritas was simply at the mercy of its bankers, given its high debt levels, and expressed concern that 66 per cent of its assets were intangible and would have no value if the company was no longer able to keep on as a going concern.

However, chairman Tim Cook told the meeting that the company enjoyed a "strong relationship" with its banker, ANZ. It made a deal in September to reschedule and reduce the group's debt repayments. The deal includes the board preparing a plan to address its capital structure by the end of February and it could now only issue dividends with the bank's approval.

During the annual meeting, Cook expressed his intent to sell the Nosh sites.

Veritas was listed at $1.30 per share at the time of its initial public offering - shares are now trading at $0.20.

Cook would not comment today.

- With Businessdesk