The private equity team at national law firm Shoosmiths has advised funds managed by Palatine Private Equity on the £12m management buyout (MBO) of The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant Limited from restaurant group Living Ventures.
The £10m 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 recently extended its venue in the Spinningfields area of Manchester, adding an additional 2,500 sq ft to meet the increased demand from customers.
Beth Houghton, investment director at Palatine Private Equity, said: 'The Alchemist is a fantastic brand and has developed a strong customer base as a result of its innovative and theatrical cocktail offering. The Spinningfields site continues to be one of the highest trading units in Manchester and we look forward to introducing the brand to more city centre locations across the country.
'We are really pleased with the advice given by the whole team at Shoosmiths on this important transaction and it has been a pleasure to work with them again.'
Commenting on the deal, Shoosmiths' Kieran Toal said: 'The Alchemist is an ambitious business with a successful brand. With this investment from Palatine, the business will be well positioned to expand and reach its full potential. It is great to see quality North West based businesses receiving private equity backing for growth, adding to the region's success. We are delighted to have supported Palatine on this transaction again following on from last year's investment in Gusto.'
Founders of Living Ventures, Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, will maintain an active role in the business following the transaction, with Bacon taking on the position as chairman and 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.