Graphite Capital, the private equity group, which previously backed Wagamama, is investing £21m in Rex Restaurant Associates, the group headed up by entrepreneurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King.

The deal, which will see Graphite take a stake in the owner of The Wolseley, comes after Corbin and King regained full ownership of the company earlier this year.

The pair reacquired the 50% share of the business that fell under the control of administrators BDO LLP, when financial services firm Dawnay Day collapsed in 2008.

The new funding will be used to fund the group’s future expansion plans. It currently has three projects in the pipeline.

In June, the company plans to open Brasserie Zédel, an all-day Parisian brasserie, with an American bar and a live music and cabaret venue in the Crown Estate’s Quadrant regeneration development just off Piccadilly Circus. The new restaurant will open on the 20,000sq ft site of the old Atlantic Bar and Grill.

In September, Rex will open another brasserie on the highly-sought-after site of the former Oriel café and restaurant on Sloane Square.

In addition, the group plans to operate a new five-star boutique hotel, The Beaumont, on Balderton Street in Mayfair from 2014. The site is currently being developed in conjunction with the Grosvenor Estate.

The company, which opened its latest site The Delaunay in London’s Aldwych last November, is also expected to secure additional prime sites in the capital with the new funding.

It is thought that Karen Jones, former chief executive of Spirit Group and co-founder of Café Rouge will join the company’s board. She is currently chairman of London gastropub chain Food & Fuel.

King, chief executive of Rex, said: “We are delighted to receive the support of Graphite, whose knowledge and experience of the leisure and property sectors will be invaluable to Rex, as we embark on the next exciting phase of our development.”

Graphite senior partner Andy Gray said: “With a highly experienced and respected management team, in a sector where we have achieved considerable success, Rex perfectly meets Graphite’s key investment criteria. Arguably the best restaurateurs of their generation, Corbin and King have particularly impressed us with their visionary approach and their attention to detail.”

Graphite sold some of its stake in Wagamama to Lion Capital in a deal valuing the business at £102.5m in 2005. It currently has investments in the Groucho Club, the arts members’ club and the Third Space, the London-based health and fitness club chain.