Palatine News - April Issue 2017
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It has been an unprecedented 12 months since the last edition of Palatine News. The shock Yes vote in the referendum will see Britain leave the European Union while the extraordinary US presidential election propelled a volatile and unpredictable Mr Trump to the White House.

It has also been a busy 12 months for both Palatine and our portfolio companies which have continued to fulfil their ambitious growth aspirations.

In This Issue

Terry Flanagan Interview - Terry shares his experience of private equity and looks back at his long career in the sector.Terry shares his experience of private equity and looks back at his long career in the sector.

A Diligent Partnership With Berkeley - Operational due diligence and identifying risk is paramount in all transactions and it can make or break an acquisition.

The Chase Is On - Chase Templeton has been a trailblazer in consolidating the broker market.

Maiden Deal For Midlands - The Midlands office of Palatine Private Equity has completed its maiden deal after acquiring a stake in leading affordable homes provider, Westleigh Partnerships.

  • Restaurant group tucks in to £9m funding package
  • EPI Group fires up expansion with oil and gas consultancy deal
  • New chief at Wren Sterling
  • Vernacare signs five-year Indian deal
  • recognised by best companies
  • The Alchemist toasts sunday times best companies accolade
  • Palatine backs holiday park group
  • Awards
  • Team - New additions


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The Alchemist secures milestone tenth site in Chester
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  • The Alchemist has secured a 21 year lease on a 4,700 sq ft venue in Chester city centre
  • A £1.1m refurbishment programme will start in April 2017 before the site opens in July
  • Acquisition of the milestone site follows a period of rapid growth for the brand and listing in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For

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."

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Gusto feasts on £9m to accelerate nationwide roll out
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Private equity backed Gusto Restaurants Limited has secured an additional £9m funding package from Santander to support its growth plans and target new sites across the UK.

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.

The £9m development and working capital facilities from Santander will allow the Italian inspired brand to develop existing sites as well as targeting new suburban locations. Gusto most recently opened in West Bridgford, near Nottingham and has already identified sites in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South.

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.

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