Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners backs Bread

Private equity firm Risk Capital Partners has invested in artisan bakery Bread with the company’s management team and the founders of retail bakery GAIL’s.

Bread was established in 1992 and is headquartered in North London. Through its subsidiary, The Bread Factory, it supplies handmade breads, viennoisserie and cakes to restaurants, hotels and contract caterers.

Risk Capital Partners’ chairman Luke Johnson comments that the investment will make Bread’s products more ‘accessible’ to customers.

‘We have wide experience of food service and retail businesses, from Seafood Holdings to Patisserie Valerie,’ he explains.

Chief executive of Bread, Tom Molnar, says, ‘We have been developing our business and are ready to take it to the next phase of growth.

‘We believe demand for artisan bread is increasing as discerning customers prefer it to the highly processed, industrial bread supplied by the plant bakers.’

Johnson adds that the mid-market private equity firm’s shareholding will help the business to expand its markets.

The group includes GAIL’s, a retail bakery and café, that operates eight bakeries in London. Its bread is available through stores such as Waitrose, Harvey Nichols and online grocery retailer Ocado.

Johnson chairs and part owns Giraffe Restaurants and bakery business Baker and Spice.

In 1993, he took control of PizzaExpress and grew the business from 12 owned restaurants to over 250 before selling in 1999. He subsequently started Signature Restaurants, which owned The Ivy and Le Caprice, and sold it in 2005.

In January last year, Johnson stepped down from his role as chairman of Channel 4 Television Corporation, a position he had held since January 2004.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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