Caffe Nero has been valued at £350m after it refinanced its debts and revealed plans to launch 50 UK stores this year. Caffe Nero, which remains majority owned by its founder Gerry Ford, has refinanced its £140m debt and plans to expand during 2011. The refinancing was supported by a lender syndicate. The senior debt syndicate was led by Lloyds with support from Carlyle, Rabobank and Co-op Bank providing a total of £90 million. The junior debt syndicate was led by Hutton Collins Partners LLP with support from Goldman Sachs European Special Situations Group and Bayside Capital financing a total of £50 million of funding. This re-capitalisation of the business has been achieved well in advance of any requirement to do so and is one of the few leveraged transactions to take place in the last 12 months. Following the refinancing the Ford family controls 60% of the equity, with Paladin, the consumer brand specialist private equity firm, holding 30% and management holding the remaining 10%. The 475-outlet chain, which grew by 75 stores in 2010, has 40 overseas openings earmarked for 2011 also. Speaking to M&C Report's sister title British Baker head of food and beverage at Caffe Nero Neville Moon said: “There will be pressures on us but at the same time growth continues. “We’re looking to open 45-50 new stores this year. The strategy has been to up the game in food and coffee.”