Obika Holdings, the international mozzarella bar chain, has named Ryan Hattingh, formerly of Gaucho, as managing director for its UK subsidiary as it looks to aggressive expand in the country.

Hattingh, who will report into group chief executive David Haimes, was formerly international operations director at the Argentinean steakhouse chain and will take over the responsibility for an aggressive expansion plan for the brand in the UK market.

The two-strong chain will open a further site in Charlotte Street this July, with more under negotiations, including it is thought a site in Poland Street.

Obika, whose main shareholders are NEO Capital and founder Silvio Ursini, currently operates 18 restaurants in Italy, the UK, Turkey, Japan Canada and the US, and is planning further international openings this year in the UAE and Asia.

The group launched its first UK site in Canary Wharf at the end of 2011 and opened its second site in the UK in South Kensington last summer.