Kornicis Group, the London-based bar and restaurant operator, has been acquired in a deal thought to be valued at c£10m.
The owner of the Jamies Wine Bar and Smollensky brands has been sold by NBGI Private Equity to a management buy-in led by Richard Stringer, formerly of Faucet Inn, Barracuda and JD Wetherspoon, and ex Soho House finance director Ian Banks, backed by Isfield Investments.
Current chief executive Nick Tamblyn and finance director Colin Stokes will leave the business as part of the deal, M&C understands.
The sale is understood to have generated significant interest from both trade and private equity bidders.
Stringer told M&C he saw huge potential to expand Jamies beyond its City heartland into wider London villages and suburbs and other major cities.
He said: “The company has a tremendous set of bars and a great geography. It’s a fantastic base to grow from. The company needed investment – we can bring that and with a couple of existing brands and some unbranded bars in great locations we think we can provide a real spark for growth.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue the excellent work carried out by Nick Tamblyn and Colin Stokes and I would like to thank them for their contribution to the company and to this process.”
Banks added: “With 17 bars and restaurants based primarily in The City of London and a well-known brand in ‘Jamies’ plus the backing of new equity investment we are confident that we shall deliver our ambitious expansion and rollout plans.”
Isfield partner and incoming chairman, Simon Vardigans, said: “Having worked with the new management team before, I am confident that they will take advantage of the new ownership and funding structure to build on the strong business foundations that have already been put in place”.
Antoine Raoux of NBGI, said: “We invested in Kornicis in 2008 and are delighted to have been involved with the current management team who successfully repositioned the business to focus on a core City market leading to strong like for like performances over the last few years.”
Coffer Corporate Leisure advised NGBI on the transaction.
Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “The Smollenskys and Jamies brands are well known and offered the buyers a great platform for growth. London is the most in demand city in the world for hospitality. ”
Other advisors on the transaction were: Osborne Clarke, Rees Pollock, John Gaunt, Holman Fenwick Willan, DWF and Field Fisher Waterhouse.