Derry reels in Loch Fyne

Fish restaurants chain Loch Fyne has agreed to a management buyout led by chief executive Mark Derry. The deal, which values the concern at £21.8 million, has been backed by Hutton Collins Mezzanine Partners.

Derry has set up a purpose-built vehicle, Premium Casual Dining, to carry out the cash offer. Matthew Collins of Hutton Collins, which is also putting in £10 million of debt, commented, ‘We are delighted to be involved in the development of a high quality business.’

A major investor in Loch Fyne is Beringea via its ProVen VCT, which put £1 million into the concern in May 2002. Beringea currently holds a ten per cent stake. Investment director Jeff Bocan said, ‘ProVen backed a strong management team with an established brand four years ago and we believe the business will continue to thrive.’

Other VCTs to back Loch Fyne include Artemis AIM and Guinness Flight. The 300 original EIS investors in the company stand to make four times their original investment.

Loch Fyne Restaurants is separate from Loch Fyne Oysters, which is still based in Scotland. Johnny Noble, who owned the Ardkinglas estate that sits beside Loch Fyne, founded both companies in the 80s.

Derry and Ian Glyn were brought in to run the restaurant arm at the end of the 90s. Previously the duo had worked together at TGI Friday and Luminar Leisure. Derry, who organised the purchase of the Petit Blanc chain last year, may also acquire other restaurant brands where appropriate.

An EGM to approve the deal will be held on 7 November. Separately, Beringea plans to launch a C share offer for its ProVen Income & Growth VCT, raising £25 million

Leslie Copeland

Leslie Copeland

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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