Franchise Brands agrees £49.8m takeover of Filta Group

February 16, 2022

Multi-brand franchise business, Franchise Brands, has agreed a takeover of Warwickshire-based commercial kitchen services provider Filta in an all-share offer valued at £49.8m.

Macclesfield-headquartered Franchise Brands has agreed to pay 1.157 new share in exchange for each Filta share.

The enlarged group will have a combined market capitalisation of approximately £191.2m.

The boards of the two companies have recommended the deal.

Stephen Hemsley, Executive Chairman of Franchise Brands, said: “Bringing the businesses together will enable us to offer a broader range of complementary services to our combined customer base, providing competitive advantages in our ambition to offer a “Water In, Waste Out” service to commercial customers and significant opportunities for future growth.

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“With the benefit of greater scale, we will be able to leverage the combined group’s expertise and shared services, including our scaleable technology, to drive future growth in revenue and profits, including by growing and developing Filta’s UK and European franchise business.

“The Enlarged Group will also be well positioned to expand in North America, given Filta’s well-established and successful franchise business in the region.”

Jason Sayers, CEO of Filta, said: “Filta delivered a strong performance in 2021 as the restaurant and hospitality market recovered from the impact of Covid-19.

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“Despite some ongoing Covid challenges, new contracts were won, and we bounced back to deliver a record second half, which is testament to the resilience of our business model and the exemplary efforts of the entire team.

“Franchise Brands offers an ideal home for our customers, business, talented staff and franchisees.

Related: FiltaFry Franchise

“Our Board believes there are greater benefits to be had from the more diversified range of services the larger group will offer, as well as a broader customer base and greater shared resources to support future growth.”

Filta’s chief executive Jason Sayers will join the Franchise Brands board as managing director of Filta and Brian Hogan will become group chief financial officer.

By Shelina Begum

Source: The Business Desk

Why intellectual property rights protect much more than a name

February 14, 2022

By Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of oven cleaning franchise, Ovenu.

One of the most important things when it comes to setting up a business, apart from a robust plan, is its name.

An effective brand creates a positive perception and contributes to its success. Getting it right is crucial, which is why I’m surprised too many fail to conduct due diligence.

There are those either unaware of the possible pitfalls of choosing a name, or who are simply prepared to ride roughshod over intellectual property rights and take a chance they will not get caught out.

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Our solicitors recently contacted a start-up with a similar name to Ovenu, which also provided an oven valeting service.

It was pointed out that they were in breach of Ovenu’s intellectual property on two counts – its name and trading style. The managing director accepted the transgression and within days replied to say the business had closed and its website and social media wiped.

To be clear Ovenu only asked that it come up with an alternative name that did not infringe on our intellectual property. And before people grumble about overbearing tactics, it’s my responsibility to protect the livelihoods of our 120 plus franchisees across the UK that depend upon the Ovenu brand. In fact, Ovenu is contractually obliged to look after its stakeholders.

There are many oven cleaning firms up and down the country and I have no interest in shutting them down. Having founded this franchise back in 1994, I’m focused on Ovenu, which is a respected and recognised brand with a reputation for a quality service.

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Companies House register

Those looking to compete with an established brand ought at least to research the Companies House register. It’s completely free and a few minutes of online browsing will easily avoid such issues, which let’s face it, can turn out to be extremely costly if a start-up suddenly must change its branding.

The lesson is that anyone looking to ‘piggyback’ off a successful business, or who randomly produces a similar name or style without at least conducting a cursory check, does so at their own significant risk.

All businesses should appreciate their intellectual property is vital to protect not just a name or idea, but their long-term viability.

To conduct a free search of company names, visit

Related: Ovenu Franchise

About Ovenu

Ovenu is a leading UK and international domestic oven cleaning and valeting specialist. All cleaning products used by Ovenu are environmentally friendly, bio-degradable and conform to the latest government REACH regulations. Ovenu’s Carbon Remover is also approved by the Vitreous Enamel Association.

The Ovenu valeting process involves dismantling key components of an oven and placing them into design-registered equipment, which uses non-caustic, non-toxic and biodegradable products to clean the oven parts. Ovenu is a full member of the Approved Franchise Association.

Merry Maids boss has something to smile about as Inverness entrepreneur wins national industry award

January 19, 2022

Merry Maids UK – City cleaning company boss Bill Grant wiped the floor with his rivals to be named a winner in the Great British Franchisee Awards 2022.

The owner of Merry Maids in Inverness and East Highland began the business from scratch 14 years ago, and now he is regularly top UK performer for Merry Maids, the largest home cleaning franchise network in the world with 100 franchises in the UK alone.

Bill, a former ski instructor, yachtsman and gift shop entrepreneur, grew his business so successfully that he created a separate territory in the second-largest population area in his patch then sold it to a new franchisee as a separate business, Merry Maids of Moray.

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Merry Maids brand manager Steve Morris said: “He fully understands the lifecycle of franchise businesses and has been providing support and mentoring to the grateful new owners.

“Bill demonstrates all that is good in franchising. He really values his staff and customers above everything else and is rewarded with great loyalty, low staff and customer turnover and glowing reviews of his personal service, professionalism and attention to detail.

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“Covid hit his business hard, but after a prolonged period of closure, he came back fighting and leading from the front, and immediately rose back to his well-deserved position at the top of the Merry Maids league tables.

“He’s continued to grow his business and is even ahead of his pre-Covid performance levels – a truly excellent recovery.”

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Bill, who operates from a single base in Inverness, said: “I’m very optimistic about post-pandemic recovery and anticipate cementing our recently confirmed status as the highest-grossing single- licence UK business in the network.”

The Great British Franchisee Awards recognises franchisees’ exceptional performance and business experience, ability to drive business growth, staff retention, customer satisfaction, community involvement, inspired leadership, and franchise involvement. The awards are run by whichfranchise, are supported by Lloyds Bank, BDO, AMO Consulting and Chantry Group.

By Calum MacLeod

Source: The Inverness Courier

Ovenu ranked among UK’s Top 100 franchise opportunities for fifth consecutive year

December 13, 2021

Oven valeting specialists Ovenu has been named in Elite Franchise’s Top 100 (EF100) for the fifth consecutive year.

The industry bible ranked its top 100 franchise brands and placed Berkshire-based Ovenu at 54 – the only oven cleaning business to grace the national best franchise list.

Established in 2017 in association with HSBC, the EF100 ranks businesses according to a broad range of criteria; from financial performance and heritage to their contribution to the community and the way they embrace innovation.

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The franchise industry contributes over £17billion to the UK economy and more than 700,000 people are employed in franchising across the country. Despite a difficult economic climate, the last 12 months has seen franchise brands like Ovenu thrive thanks to their robust infrastructures, proven business models and record of franchisee support.

Rik Hellewell, managing director of Ovenu, said: “I’m absolutely chuffed for the business itself and our franchisees that we are ranked in the EF100 for a fifth consecutive year – reflecting Ovenu’s strong reputation for quality and service.

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“What makes us stand out from other franchises is a robust and successful business model combined with the support and practical guidance available to franchisees at every stage of their business development. Above all this is a franchise that sets people up to succeed.

“The team at Ovenu is proud to not only provide an exemplary service to its clients as well as being showcased as an award-winning business opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs.”

Scott English, brand director of Elite Franchise, said: “We feel that Ovenu has well and truly earned its place in the EF100.

Related: Ovenu Franchise

“This year, brands were also judged on any measures they initiated to survive the challenges of 2021, along with ambitions and growth targets for the next financial year.

“Achieving this position is a testament to all that Ovenu has achieved – they have consistently demonstrated a gold-standard level of franchising.”

Ovenu was founded in 1994 by Rik, who has since gone on to attract and recruit hundreds of successful franchisees – making it the UK’s largest oven valeting franchise.

Source: BDaily

Oven Wizards franchise launched in Meon Valley

April 6, 2021

A NEW oven cleaning business is coming to the Meon Valley and surrounding areas. Caroline and Sean Whelan are launching their own Oven Wizards Franchise.

The pair have lived and run successful businesses in the local area for a number of years and believe there will be a strong demand for their services.

Caroline said: “We were looking for a business idea that would be something we would enjoy doing and that would provide a great service to local people. We came across the idea of an oven cleaning business and then started to research the market. We soon realised that becoming Oven Wizards offered us a great opportunity, particularly with the support of a successful franchise brand.”

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John Graham, owner of the Oven Wizards business said: “From the first time we met Caroline and Sean we knew they would make a great success of running an Oven Wizards Franchise, particularly because of their great passion for customer service.

“There is a growing demand from people who want to have their ovens professionally cleaned because it is probably the hardest and most hated job in most households.”

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Oven Wizards have provided Caroline and Sean with comprehensive training which will enable them to professionally clean all sorts of makes and models of ovens.

As well as Fareham and Bishop’s Waltham, Caroline and Sean also cover the surrounding towns of New Alresford, Botley, Whiteley, Locks Heath and Waterlooville.

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A recent Survey indicates that oven cleaning is one of the most hated chores in the home.

Source: Hampshire Chronicle

Ovenu sponsors a guide dog puppy named Selsey

February 26, 2021

The oven valeting franchise Ovenu is supporting the Guide Dogs charity by gifting it £10,000 to sponsor a black Labrador puppy named Selsey. The company says that more than 100 of its franchisees across the UK have contributed to the initiative over the past couple of years, together with staff at its Wokingham headquarters.

In addition to the initial contribution, Ovenu founder and managing director Rik Hellewell, has pledged that the franchise will donate a further £5,000 to the charity over the next year or so to fund Selsey’s upkeep and guide dog training.

Hellewell said: “We know charities’ incomes have been hit hard by the pandemic and everyone at Ovenu wanted to do something positive to make a difference.”

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Having suggested the Guide Dogs charity and its puppy sponsorship scheme, which helps those living in the UK with sight loss, Hellewell chose to name the puppy Selsey, in tribute to his late father-in-law who had strong ties to the seaside town.

Hellewell continued: “My love and support for the Guide Dogs dates to my late teens, when I worked in a pub opposite the charity’s headquarters in Wokingham. I used to see a lot of the handlers and trainers with the dogs, and sometimes they brought them into the pub to familiarise them with groups of people and the noise. Everyone here at Ovenu is eager to see Selsey progress and look forward to the moment she is able to transform someone’s life.”

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Victoria Noyce-Guthrie of Guide Dogs, said: “We rely on donations and this kind support will allow us to make a life changing difference to someone with sight loss by providing a guide dog. We hope that during these difficult times the news of Selsey being born and the ‘pupdates’ about her training journey will be something positive that Ovenu and its clients throughout the UK can look forward to.”

Commenting on current business trading during the pandemic, Hellewell said: “Our franchisees have been reporting brisk business as more people are staying at home and are spending more time cooking and baking – so their services are in demand.

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“We have also recruited 11 new franchisees and four sub-contractors over the past few months, establishing new territories or replacing previous franchisees who have retired. I have confidence in the product and the business model and believe the arrival of the vaccines signal that better times lie ahead.”

Ovenu franchisees plan to share the regular ‘pupdates’ on Selsey with clients to raise further awareness of the charity and has also set up its own Just Giving page where people can make their own donations:

Source: Franchise World

Realising an ambition as Ovenu Petersfield launches

January 28, 2021

Reassessing life following five days in hospital on oxygen therapy battling Covid-19, Rob Cunningham a former development baker, decided the time was right to realise his ambition of running his own business and has launched Ovenu Petersfield.

Cunningham, 52, along with his wife Claire and daughter Charlotte, moved to Hampshire 18 years after Cunningham joined a bakery company where he was head of innovation developing sweet bakery treats for high street names such as Costa, Pret a Manger, Starbucks and Waitrose. Prior to that he was a baker for Greggs and Bakers Oven rising to the position of production area manager.

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Commenting on his decision, Cunningham said: “Thankfully, I’ve made a full recovery, but lying in a hospital bed was the impetus I needed to take stock of my life and to think about what is important for myself and my family. I’ve been a baker for 37 years and always had an ambition to be my own boss, but never seemed to have time to take things further.”

By taking voluntary redundancy whilst planning his new career, Cunningham saw an opportunity with Ovenu and chose the franchise because of the amount of training and support it provided, together with its proven business model.

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Cunningham added: “It’s a little daunting to be launching a business during lockdown but I’m determined to succeed, and I have Covid-secure procedures in place to keep myself and my clients safe.”

Ovenu Petersfield, which covers Petersfield and surrounding areas, including The Meon Valley, Liss, Waterlooville, Denmead and Clanfield, will accept bookings at its discretion, with the strict stipulation that both parties observe the two-metres social distancing rule, along with guidelines on hygiene and cleanliness.

Related: Ovenu Franchise

Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of Ovenu, commented: “Rob has a great attention to detail, together with fantastic people skills and certainly knows his way around an oven. Despite these challenging times, he has the necessary drive and determination to create a real recipe for success.”

The Ovenu valeting process involves dismantling key components of an oven such as the door, interior panels, fan, and shelves and placing them into design-registered tank equipment, which uses safe, non-caustic and biodegradable products to clean the oven parts.

Source: Franchise World

Bright and Beautiful: Fife firm cleans up during Covid

December 30, 2020

A Fife cleaning and laundry firm has targeted expansion into Edinburgh after Covid-19 and the stamp duty holiday significantly boosted turnover.

The move comes after consistent growth for Bright and Beautiful over the past five years for business owner Gill Schofield, which has seen the company relocate twice in Dunfermline.

The current unit has a fully equipped laundry room, an ironing area, kitchen and staff restroom.

The growth plans include growing the headcount at the company and follows investment in new equipment and the vehicle fleet.

The business has seen a “surge in demand” during the pandemic with more people working from home, while house buyers and sellers taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday had also seen calls for one-off cleans increase.

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The firm was founded in 2015 with a headcount of two, but currently employs 13 including a senior team leader, six housekeepers and three team leaders.

The move into Edinburgh will see a further three jobs created by April, with a target of securing 60 clients to match the Dunfermline operation.

Bright and Beautiful currently completes more than 325 home cleans each month.

Ms Schofield said the expansion into the capital brings its own challenges.

“There’s obviously a lot more competition there because it’s a city and we have also found a number of potential employees don’t have a driving licence.

“This is largely because the public transport system is so good in Edinburgh, but as we have our own vehicles, a driving licence is essential,” she said.

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Ms Schofield said Bright and Beautiful, which is part of a franchise run by Neighbourly UK, was able to respond quickly to the pandemic and re-open after lockdown.

She said: “My background is in human resources and I’m quite methodical, so I was attracted to opening a franchise because it meant I was not learning the business from scratch.

“When the pandemic came, the franchise model also meant the firm had access to a significant level of resource which allowed us to get effective protocols in place and ensure we are covid compliant.”


The company has seen steady growth over the past five years, with a strong performance in year two followed by around 8% per annum.

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Ms Schofield said: “This year we have still managed to hit our targets.

“Coronavirus restrictions meant we locked down on March 23 and didn’t go back to work until the end of June, but even though we had a total wipe out of income through that period, we still hit our targets, even though they were ambitious to start with.”

The firm said communication had been key during the lockdown period and had invested in additional products which allowed the firm to “hit the ground running” when the firm was able to re-open.

Ms Schofield said reliability, company policies and procedures combined with consistently high quality service contributed to the firm’s expansion.

She said: “We do advertise online and this attracts customers, but a lot of new business comes from word-of-mouth referrals from existing clients.”

Although the firm specialises in domestic customers, it had also seen increased interest from commercial clients as well as growing demand for its laundry services.

By Jim Millar

Source: The Courier

Households gripped by hygiene bug help business to clean up

December 15, 2020

A housekeeping business is cleaning up as the coronavirus pandemic sparks unprecedented demand.

Cleaning entrepreneur Alison Chilvers launched Bright & Beautiful Ipswich a year ago and has expanded into Woodbridge as demand for her firm’s services soar.

She now employs nine housekeepers and has seen her revenue rise by 137% since January. The team cleans 300 homes around Suffolk.

The additional funding has enabled her to expand into Woodbridge and develop and grow her business.

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“We have experienced an unprecedented demand for our professional cleaning services during the pandemic and we attribute this to our high standards for hygiene and trusted teams, all of whom are fully employed and trained,” said Ms Chilvers.

“We have also introduced enhanced safety procedures, using eco-friendly and sanitisation products, including a fogging machine to provide extra protection and reassurance to our clients.

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“As more people work from home, the need for a reliable and managed cleaning service has never been so important. We are helping busy professionals and parents focus on their work and spend time with their loved ones without having to worry about the cleaning and ironing. Our clients trust us to look after their homes and in return we give them the hotel finish they deserve, she said.

She was “hugely proud” of what the business has achieved, she said.

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“I am equally committed to creating more employment opportunities for local men and women, providing them with a great working environment, and to delivering a premium service that always serves its promises to the local communities,” she added.

Her business is part of a larger franchise network, with 67 franchisees operating across the UK.

The Bright & Beautiful franchise business was bought by US home services giant in 2017.

By Sarah Chambers

Source: Ipswich Star

Oven cleaning business sees new employment enquiries soar during pandemic

December 10, 2020

A successful oven cleaning firm in North Somerset with franchises across the UK has seen enquiries soar during the pandemic – as people look to start their own business.

OvenGleamers, which is run by husband and wife team Catherine and Graham Rogers, say they have received more than 1,000 enquiries about people taking up franchises.

The pair, who set up the company a decade ago as ‘one-man-in-a-van’ now have 17 franchisees around the UK.

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The duo, who coordinate cleaning schedules for individuals and franchisees from their headquarters in Pill, said huge numbers of people had contacted them about setting up a franchise business.

“What we have seen is a lot of interest in our franchise opportunities. In fact right now we have just over 1,000 enquiries about an OvenGleamers franchise which is fantastic,” said Catherine.

“It is understandable though because oven cleaning as a business is a fun, straight forward business to have when you do it right and we have those systems in place because Graham has been there and done it and still does.”

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Despite many businesses struggling during 2020 due to the pandemic, OvenGleamers has continued to expand in the last 12 months.

It has hired two new members of staff for the head office and adding franchisees including three new ones in Torbay, St Albans and Kidderminster.

Catherine and Graham said although it had been an “incredibly challenging year” for everyone in business, OvenGleamers had been “prepared” for most of the restrictions – and had not seen any drop in customer numbers.

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“We could have been hugely impacted by the varying restrictions but we’ve always ensured our teams work to the very highest standards in terms of hygiene, health and safety so we were already prepared for most of the precautions,” said Catherine.

Graham added: “We can’t believe it has been a decade since we took the plunge and really went for it with the franchising concept.

“It was a steep learning curve because you are moving from the simpler model of direct customer service with your local round to trying to scale that personal passion, drive and quality but we’ve got a fantastic team out there in homes right across the country now.”

By Heather Pickstock

Source: Bristol Post