Barburrito gobbles up BGF investment

Having already backed businesses in manufacturing, oil & gas and telecoms, the Business Growth Fund has moved into the restaurant sector with its latest investment.

The Business Growth Fund (BGF) has made its fifth investment of 2012, and seventh to date, though the backing of a Mexican street food chain.

Barburrito has become the latest recipient of growth capital from the BGF’s £2.5 billion fund, and is also the first North West company to be backed.

The £3.5 million investment made by the BGF will be used by Manchester-based Barburrito, and its founders Morgan Davies and Paul Kilpatrick, to fund an ‘active rollout programme’ as the company looks to triple its restaurant count to 18 over the next four years.

In 2009, Barburrito teamed up with Richard O’Sullivan, co-founder of Millie’s Cookies, who became the company’s non-executive chairman. On the back of the investment, Colin Hughes will join the board as a non-executive director. Hughes has experience as a board member at Pret A Manger and EAT.

Net revenues for the financial year ending 2012 were £4 million and the business reported that like-for-like net sales are up 20 per cent on they year previous.

Davies comments, ‘It was important for us to find the right partner, an investor that is able to offer more than just money. BGF has demonstrated that they not only share our enthusiasm for the sector but can bring valuable advice, expertise and high level contacts to the table.’

Kilpatrick says that the £3.5 million investment will allow the business to expand into the London market and create 250 new jobs.

‘We are actively looking for high density locations, populated by office workers, shoppers, tourists and students with a busy lunch and some weekend trade,’ he adds.

In the first quarter of 2012 the BGF backed businesses including STATS Group, Wow! Stuff, GCI Telecom and Unruly and has so far committed £37 million to growth companies in the UK.

Andy Gregory, BGF’s regional director for the North of England, says, ‘This is the first investment led by our Manchester office and as such represents a significant landmark for BGF.’

‘We are seeing a strong pipeline of investment opportunities across the North of England, a clear indication that businesses here are recognising the value that a supportive equity investor can bring to the table.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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