Pho 4

TriSpan has acquired a significant majority stake in Vietnamese restaurant chain Pho, for an undisclosed sum.

The investment has been made through Rising Stars – the global private equity firm’s dedicated restaurant fund.

As part of the deal founders Stephen and Juliette Wall, and the management, maintain a significant interest in the company.

However Stephen will step down as managing director, to be replaced by former finance director Patrick Marrinan.

The founders will remain in executive roles in order to help support the businesses growth plans, alongside Ewan McDonald, director of operations, and Libby Andrews, marketing director.

Robin Rowland, TriSpan’s European operating partner will chair the board alongside current chairman Steve Hill, and will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

Commenting on the deal, Stephen and Juliette Wall, said: “After an extremely challenging 18 months, during which time the superhuman efforts of our team and support of our landlords have helped us to weather the pandemic, it’s fantastic to receive this vote of confidence in Pho.”

Established in 2005, Pho currently has 30 restaurants and operates three delivery-only kitchens. Its expansion was supported initially by ETM Group’s Ed and Tom Martin and it later received backing from Gresham House.

“Gresham House have been wonderful partners and we now look forward to working with Robin and the TriSpan team as we get back to what we do best, with Pat stepping up and leading the charge as MD along with Ewan, Libby and the rest of our team, they added.

Patrick Marrinan, managing director, added: “It’s a real honour to lead the company through the next phase of growth and, whilst this deal means we have to say goodbye to a great partner in Gresham House, we are delighted to be welcoming Robin and TriSpan to the Pho team.”

TriSpan partners Fady Michel Abouchalache and Joseph-Patrick Dib, added: “Pho is a brand and a business that we have admired for a long time. We are therefore very proud to have been given the opportunity to partner with the founders and this exceptional management team on the next journey of growth.

“We are very excited at the prospect of bringing more Pho restaurants to customers in the UK and beyond.

Pho is due to open its next restaurant in Lincoln late this summer and is actively looking at other site opportunities.

The investment in Pho marks TriSpans’s third in the UK through its Rising Stars arm, joining Rosa’s Thai Café and Thunderbird Fried Chicken.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.