Jim’s Group founder Jim Penman has denied media reports that the majority of franchisees want him out as the leader of the group.
According a report in The Age, a private ballot of master franchisers has found 89 percent want him out. The report also suggests a group of franchisers is considering launching a class action against Penman over breach of contract.
The Jim’s Group spans 28 different franchises including mowing, plumbing and electrical with 2,700 franchisees in Australia alone. Jim’s Group allows franchisors to be voted out by franchisees if three people call for a referendum. A similar vote was conducted in 2005 and was found in Mr Penman’s favour.
Penman has dismissed the vote, claiming it was “made-up” and orchestrated by Paul Carr, who formerly ran the company’s operations in the United Kingdom. The vote comes as he is being pursued for $1 million in damages by Carr, who claims Penman and others in Jim’s Group conspired in his removal from the British business. Penman has denied the claim and is pondering legal action of his own against Mr Carr and the website hosting the vote, which he says has libelled him.
“I have had about 20 people contact me and they didn’t bother to respond to the vote. I’m pretty convinced the majority of franchisers and franchisers support me,” he was quoted as saying.
Penman admitted that while there may be some franchisers not in his favour, he emphasised that the disagreement won’t affect franchise support.
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