Potent cocktail as Palatine backs £13m buyout of The Alchemist

A bartender at The Alchemist
A bartender at The Alchemist
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Palatine Private Equity has completed the £13m management buyout of The Alchemist, as the bar and restaurant brand looks to roll out more sites across the UK.

The deal marks Palatine’s second investment with Living Ventures Group following its buyout of Gusto last year.

The Alchemist at Trinity Leeds

The Alchemist at Trinity Leeds

The Alchemist first opened its doors in Manchester in 2010 and operates two venues in the city centre, as well as sites at Trinity Leeds and London.

The company, which employs 250 staff, achieved sales of £11.3m last year and was recently ranked the 20th fastest-growing business in the UK by The Sunday Times.

The £12m equity investment from Palatine and £6.5m development and working capital facilities from Santander will enable the business to develop its existing sites and open new venues in city centre locations.

The Alchemist opened last summer in London and recently extended its Spinningfields, Manchester restaurant, adding an additional 2,500 square feet to meet the increased demand from customers.

Formed in 1999 by Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, Living Ventures owns brands including Australasia, Blackhouse, Gusto, The New World Trading Company, Manchester House and Artisan.

The pair will maintain an active role in the business, with Mr Bacon taking on the position as chairman and Mr Roberts becoming a non-executive director.

As part of the investment, Palatine’s managing partner Gary Tipper and investment director Beth Houghton will both join the board of the company as non-executive directors.

Ms Houghton said: “The Alchemist is a fantastic brand and has developed a strong customer base as a result of its innovative and theatrical cocktail offering.”