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Private equity firm buys Drake & Morgan in £30m deal

23 | 04 | 13

The private equity firm behind Las Iguanas has completed a £30 million management buy-out of Drake & Morgan.

Bowmark Capital has purchased the bar and restaurant group, which was founded in 2008 by restaurant investment specialists the Imbiba Partnership and managing director Jillian MacLean.

It currently runs five venues in London, including The Refinery in Southwark and The Parlour in Canary Wharf.

Bowmark has invested in several successful restaurant and bar companies in the past, including the Las Iguanas and Living Room chains. The deal will see Imbiba leave the business.

"This transaction is consistent with our ‘buy, build and exit’ business model. This exit represents a truly excellent return for Imbiba Partnership shareholders and illustrates our consistent ability to deliver significant shareholder value," said John Connell of Imbiba.

Mr Connell will continue in his role as chairman of Drake & Morgan. He will retain a minority stake in the company along with fellow Imbiba partners Simon Wheeler and Mark Brumby, as well as Ms MacLean and her management team.

"We are very excited about the next phase of our growth strategy and with Bowmark’s support and financial backing, we look forward to accelerating the rollout of the company, both in central London and in other locations across the country," commented Ms MacLean.

The business is now looking to expand and has identified eight new sites for opening over the next two years and in the long-term.

It hopes to take the brand nationwide and believes there is potential for up to 70 venues across the UK, which would be welcome news for catering equipment suppliers.

Drake & Morgan has shown impressive growth since its formation and the chain's sales have increased by 75 per cent on a yearly basis over the last three years, reaching their current level of £18 million.

Ron Pearson, a partner at Bowmark, said the company is well-run and represents an appealing proposition for both customers and landlords and has significant potential for further growth.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801575823-ADNFCR

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