It has also been a busy 12 months for both Palatine and our portfolio companies which have continued to fulfil their ambitious growth aspirations.
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Premium bar and casual dining operator, The Alchemist has announced the acquisition of its tenth site in Chester City centre, continuing its great start to the year, which has seen it open in Newcastle and be named in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for 2017.
Having acquired a 21 year leasehold from Odysian Ltd, The Alchemist Chester will be situated in the Former Gin Rickey’s and Luke’s Eating House, and shifts the premium bar and casual dining brand into its next phase of growth.
Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist, said: "We’re incredibly proud to be opening our tenth site, just six years after the brand’s inception. When we launched in Spinningfields back in 2010, we looked to push the boundaries of the Manchester drinking and casual dining experience through theatrical cocktails, engaging service and interesting spaces. We’re now establishing ourselves as one of the most talked about bar and restaurant brands in the UK, and we are delighted to open in Chester and intend to bring something different to its food and drink scene.
"Opening our tenth site, in a city rich in heritage with a bustling nightlife, demonstrates the dedication and commitment of The Alchemist team. 2017 is set to be our most exciting year yet, as consumer demand increases for richer, immersive and shareable bar and restaurant experiences."
To find out more visit thealchemist.uk.com.
Gusto is a fast growing restaurant brand that was formed by Living Ventures in 2005 and backed by Palatine Private Equity in a management buyout in 2014.
Gusto now operates 16 restaurants across the UK and employs over 600 staff. It recorded turnover of £23m in the year to March 2016 ‐ a 21 per cent increase on the previous year.
The Italian inspired restaurants offer fashionable décor and a range of cocktails paired with a classic and contemporary menu, using fresh, carefully selected, simple ingredients to offer a wide choice of premium Italian and European dishes.
Managing Director of Gusto, Sue Crimes, said: "We are thrilled to secure Santander backing and are very much looking forward to working with them in expanding our business and increasing our geographical presence across the UK. With the ongoing support from Palatine and a great Gusto team in place, we will continue to build our position as a national brand.
"We are grateful to Santander and Palatine for their shared vision in our ever growing business and their belief in our brand."
Gary Tipper, Managing Partner of Palatine Private Equity, added: "Since Palatine’s investment, the management team have done a great job of building and developing the brand and moving into new areas of the UK, and there is now a solid platform to grow the business further. This new facility allows the business to deliver Gusto’s strong site pipeline, and also puts the company in a great position to take advantage of additional site or portfolio opportunities that arise."
Santander Relationship Director, Ian Henry, commented: "Gusto is an established and popular brand, with a strong management team and great backers in Living Ventures and Palatine. Santander is delighted to be supporting the company in its next phase of growth."
Gusto was supported on the transaction by the Manchester office of Pinsent Masons (Tim Fearne) and Santander by the banking team at Addleshaw Goddard (Martin O’Shea). Gateleys (Richard Sealy) provided support to Beechbrook Capital.