Livingstone’s Consumer team advised the management and shareholders of Drake & Morgan on the £30m MBO backed by Bowmark Capital, its fourth multi-site leisure deal in the past six months.
Drake & Morgan was founded in 2008 by the Imbiba Partnership, the specialist bar and restaurant investment partnership. Jillian MacLean, Drake & Morgan’s Managing Director, had a vision of creating an innovative new chain of bar-restaurants in London that were stylish, accessible and “female-friendly”, which offeres a unique food and drink service all day.
The first site, The Refinery, was opened in Southwark in 2008. Since then a further four sites have opened – The Parlour in Canary Wharf and The Anthologist, The Folly and The Drift, which are all based in the City. A further two sites in London are scheduled to open this year, with a nationwide roll-out planned in the longer-term, with the potential for up to 70 units across the UK.
The Company has performed well in this sector, having grown sales at over 75% per annum over the past three years to their current level of £18m.
Jillian MacLean said: “We are very excited about the next phase of our growth strategy and, with Bowmark’s support and financial backing we look forward to accelerating the roll-out of the company, both in central London and in other locations across the country.
“Livingstone provided invaluable support through the transaction. They took the time to guide us through the entire process and intricacies of the deal, ensuring we achieved a successful outcome. I can thoroughly recommend the hands-on team and wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again.”
Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner at Livingstone London commented: “We are delighted to have helped Jillian and her team with this exciting deal. Bowmark is an excellent partner and with their backing and support, we are confident that the business will continue to achieve exceptional growth.
“This has delivered an excellent result for all parties. The exiting shareholders have secured a strong return while Bowmark has backed a great business with a strong management team and a unique market proposition.”
Recent leisure deals completed by Livingstone Partners include: The sale of Marwyn Gaming to Merkur Casino UK, part of the Gauselmann Group; the sale of City Screen to Cineworld Plc; and the sale of DCL (Holdings) to Places for People Group.