Launch of new bar fund gets £20m injection

Paul Campbell
Paul Campbell
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LLOYDS’ private equity arm LDC has invested £20m in a new restaurant fund to be run by Paul Campbell, the former chief executive of restaurant company The Clapham House Group.

The investment will be used to buy into high growth UK-based restaurant and bar businesses.

Mr Campbell said the targets will be in a growth stage of development with a small number of outlets, but will offer potential for significant roll-out expansion.

The fund, to be run by Mr Campbell’s company Hill Capital Partners, is expected to make initial investments of between £1m and £4m into businesses with an established track record.

Mr Campbell said they need to have high calibre, innovative management teams.

LDC, which has an office in Leeds, said the new fund demonstrates its commitment to the wider retail and consumer sectors.

It said it will work alongside management teams in order to maximise long term growth for the business.

Mr Campbell, who has held executive managerial roles at Pizza Express, has a long track record of investing in and managing food and beverage businesses.

Hill Capital currently holds stakes in Tortilla Mexican Grill, steak restaurant Hawksmoor, and Vinoteca.

Mr Campbell founded and launched Clapham House as a £15m AIM shell which backed several businesses including Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek.

It was sold for £40m in November 2010 to chicken chain Nando’s Group.

Mr Campbell said: “I am delighted to be teaming up with LDC to launch this new specialist fund.

“We will invest in young restaurant and bar businesses with ambitious growth plans.

“In LDC, I have found ideal partners who embrace my vision for identifying talented management alongside with whom we can work to help grow innovative businesses.

“The restaurants and bar businesses are growth sectors for those with the imagination to provide fresh and novel concepts. We are going to invest in some great companies over the next few years and are already looking closely at our first investments.”

Tim Farazmand, managing director at LDC London, said: “LDC has a strong investment track record in the retail and consumer sectors and is looking forward to making more specialist investments within the food and beverages markets.

“Paul’s proven industry expertise and entrepreneurial flair will be essential in helping to identify young restaurant and bar chains which possess innovative and proven concepts, strong management and high growth potential.

“We believe a combination of LDC and Hill Capital can drive significant growth for the companies in which we invest, providing the resource, skills and track record to help management accelerate the development of their busi- ness.”

Since opening its doors in Leeds in 1989 the Yorkshire/North East region has completed over 40 investments investing more than £220m of equity.

LDC said that its Yorkshire/ North East team places great emphasis upon creating solid and enduring relationships with management teams, advisers and local business people.

It said that activity in the region is steady and consistent.

In the last five years the team has invested in 12 businesses, from a range of sectors, committing over £150m of equity.

LDC said it will continue to actively invest independently in the consumer sector as part of its on-going investment into growth mid-market companies.

LDC has invested around £200m of equity into new businesses since the start of 2012 across a range of sectors.

It has a portfolio of more than 60 current investments valued in excess of £2bn.

Since 1981 LDC has completed over 400 investments.

It said it is looking for management teams from UK-based companies seeking between £2m and £100m of equity for management buyouts, institutional buyouts or development capital transact-ions.

It has invested in a broad range of sectors with particular focus on Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services.

Recent UK transactions include investments with Dale Power Solutions, Metronet (UK) and the public to private of AIM-listed Boomerang to launch Boom Pictures, plus exits from Airclaims and Ascend.

It has a UK regional network of offices and an international operation based in Hong Kong.

In addition to its Leeds office it has sites in Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Nottingham, Birmingham, London, Reading, Bristol, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.