Dr Glen Richards, who co-founded Australia’s biggest pet care company, Greencross, is overseeing the IPO of Healthia.
Dr Glen Richards, who co-founded Australia’s biggest pet care company, Greencross, is overseeing the IPO of Healthia.

New direction for pet care boss

HE'S been looking after your cats and dogs for years.

Now he wants to take care of your feet.

Dr Glen Richards, who co-founded Australia's biggest pet care company, Greencross, is overseeing the IPO of Healthia, which includes the fast-growing My FootDr chain of podiatry centres.

After months of talk, the Brisbane-based group finally lodged a prospectus this week with ASIC aiming to raise $26.8 million from investors at $1 per share.

If all goes as planned, Healthia should start trading on the ASX on September 11 and use the fresh injection of capital for both acquisitions and organic growth.


Illustration of Glen Richards by Brett Lethbridge.
Illustration of Glen Richards by Brett Lethbridge.


Richards, who doubles as a judge on Channel 10's Shark Tank, has taken on the non-executive chairman's job at Healthia, which also includes Allsports Physiotherapy clinics, footwear maker iOrthotics and supplier DBS Medical.

Richards landed the gig after he crossed paths with My FootDr founders Darren Stewart and Greg Dower three years ago and ended up investing $2.5 million in to the business for a 33 per cent stake.

Stewart is still involved in Healthia, where he has a rather unusual arrangement as a joint CEO with Tony Gantner, who oversees the physio side of things.

These founding partners and other key stakeholders will end up owning more than 50 per cent of the stock, with Richards alone hanging on to about 7 per cent. So they've got plenty of skin in the game, as will clinic operators, who will be offered an ownership stake in their businesses of 20 to 50 per cent.

Healthia aims to aggressively grow the My FootDr chain, which launched in 2004 and has morphed in to the country's biggest podiatry group with 56 centres.

They plan to add 16 more of the clinics in the $800 million sector, as well as another 14 Allsports centres.

The group has forecast a $4.6 million net profit in the last financial year and predicts that will lift to $5.1 million in 2019 but no dividend is expected to be paid next year.



BY chance, Richards was in Brisbane yesterday addressing Michael Johnson's East Coast Forum luncheon, which attracted the likes of Screen Queensland boss Tracey Viera, Transurban state chief Chris Poynter and former rugby player John Driscoll.

Meanwhile, across town at the Marriott Hotel, fellow Shark Tank star and Queensland's chief entrepreneur Steve Baxter railed against red tape and payroll tax, which he said is strangling business.

Baxter was part of a spirited panel chat on start-ups and scaleups at a luncheon sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce.

One of Baxter's protégés from River City Labs, RedEye boss Wayne Gerard, noted that he could hire three more staff if he wasn't shackled with payroll tax.

That prompted Baxter, a self-described libertarian, to quip that the money could also pay for 1.5 more bureaucrats!

Gerard got to know Baxter in the early days of River City Labs when he kicked off RedkEye, which flogs cloud and mobile solutions for asset and work management.

Six years later RedEye is now in the midst of capital raising for an undisclosed sum that should be nailed down by the end of the month.

US investors are flying out next week to run the ruler over the company, which is looking to expand into New Zealand and Europe.

Once it's done, Gerard told the crowd he's looking forward to decompressing on a two-week motorcycle adventure.

Among those taking in all the wit and wisdom were shoe queen Tracey Mathers, serial start-up entrepreneur Dominic Holland and Crowe Horwath senior partner Ross Patane.