Britain’s fastest-growing retail vape brand has today finalised a deal to buy 11 Barracuda vape stores as part of an acquisition programme.
Nottingham-based Red Box Vape secured the deal – for an undisclosed fee – with Barracuda’s owner Fast Fuse Ltd, which is headquartered in Cardiff. Nine of the acquired stores are in the South Wales area, with additional stores in Bristol and Dumfries, Scotland.
The move is part of a plan to open at least 100 Red Box Vape stores by the end of 2020. This will be achieved through the rapid acquisition of existing vape businesses as well as the opening of brand new store premises and franchise operations.
Mark Shaw, managing director of Red Box Vape, said: “It’s fantastic to have landed such a well-established chain as Barracuda. It represents the beginning of a significant sea-change in the retail vape market. We are aiming very high indeed.
“Red Box Vape is making no secret of the fact that it’s in acquisition mode. We absolutely intend to reach 100 stores as quickly as possible. The Barracuda deal with Fast Fuse is just the first of many.”
Although Red Box has purchased 100 per cent of the Fast Fuse empire, existing Fast Fuse director Lee Woolls is expected to remain within the business structure to ensure a smooth transition of ownership.
Mr Shaw said: “Customers will notice very little change initially, particularly as Lee and the Barracuda team believe in the same high standards of service that we do at Red Box Vape. It will effectively be business as usual.”
Mr Woolls said: “Selling a successful business was not an easy decision, but I’m delighted we’ve found a buyer in Red Box Vape with such a clear vision about high quality and standards. We know our customers and staff will be left in very good hands.”
While the purchase fee remains undisclosed, Mr Shaw indicated that the 11 Barracuda stores would add around £1.5m to Red Box Vape’s annual turnover.
Red Box Vape has also recently finalised a joint venture deal to open a Red Box Vape store in Oakham, Leicestershire. And negotiations are underway with three other UK vape businesses to acquire another 30 stores from the Midlands to Scotland.
The company opened its first flagship store in Nottingham last July.
Accountancy firm Coates & Partners, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, acted as lead adviser in the Barracuda acquisition, with legal representation from London-based solicitors Child & Child.