Mexican fast food chain Zambrero has received £143m in equity financing from Metric Capital Partners in order to further its expansion in Britain and Ireland.

The minority stake taken by the European private capital manager is the first external capital taken by the business, The Times has reported.

The Australian restaurant franchise currently has five sites in the UK and around 15 in Ireland, and is looking to add a further 25 by the end of this year.

It was founded in Canberra in 2005 by Scottish-born doctor Sam Prince and has now grown to become the biggest Mexican restaurant group in Australia, and eighth largest globally, with 250 sites in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, the Republic of Ireland and the United States.

Its UK sites are currently located around Greater London but the business is looking to expand to other major cities such as Manchester.

“We understand the retail world is difficult to operate in right now, but there is a lot of momentum that we’re building up across the UK and Ireland,” Prince said.

“We’ve watched other parts of the world evolve its understanding of Mexican food from the very stodgy and grease-laden affair to something more fresh and healthy,” he said. “Mexican is a broad category and how you interpret that in the UK has sometimes been a little bit off the mark.

Zambrero’s menu features burritos, nachos and tacos, with a meal donated to charity through its Plate 4 Plate initiative with every burrito or bowl dish purchased.