Grand Parade Investments, the Southern African franchise owner of US chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced on Friday morning that it is closing its outlets after failing to sell them.

The decision to close the SA outlets of the US fast food chains followed a warning in Grand Parade’s 2018 financial year results that the company had been badly hurt by the introduction of sugar taxes and rise in the VAT rate.

Grand Parade is also the local franchiser of Burger King, which it said it remains committed to.

“Shareholders are hereby advised that Grand Parade will exit its poor-performing assets Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins and has today filed an application for the voluntary liquidation of these businesses,” the statement said.

“The decision to exit Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins was made following sustained losses in these businesses and an unsuccessful process to dispose of these businesses. The decision is in line with the company’s value-based strategy, which aims at improving the group’s capital allocation by channelling capital to high-value potential assets, such as Burger King.”

Grand Parade acquired the rights to represent Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins in SA, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Mauritius in January 2016.

At the time, Grand Parade said it intended developing more than 250 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and more than 70 Baskin-Robbins shops in SA.

The JSE-listed group said it acquired the exclusive master licence agreement for both brands for 10 years with an option to renew for a further 10 years.

In its 2018 financial year results, Grand Parade said it had rolled out five stores for Dunkin’ Donuts and one store for Baskin-Robbins, bringing total stores to 11 and five, respectively.