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M&B considers Asian concept as Tampopo bid dropped

By Lorraine Heller , 10-Jun-2011

Related topics: Business, Restaurants

Pub group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) is said to have abandoned a bid for the Asian restaurant chain Tampopo in favour of developing its own Asian concept.

Tampopo: further expansion planned

Tampopo: further expansion planned

Tampopo, which was set up in Manchester in 1997, currently operates six restaurants across the UK and aims to provide healthy, value-for-money Asian food with fast service.

It is thought M&B called off its approach to Tampopo after board members decided to develop an in-house Asian brand rather than opt for an acquisition.

Asian chains

Tampopo co-founders David Fox and Nick Jeffrey said they could not comment on reports of M&B’s bid, but suggested they were open to approaches as they looked to further expansion in the future.

“Within the industry M&B is perceived to be a highly effective operator, with a strong performance culture and well-defined operational systems,” said Jeffrey.

“Nevertheless, we’ve seen other group operators including Whitbread and The Restaurant Group struggle to establish a brand in our ethnicity. It may be third time lucky for the big boys, but this will be a major departure from their traditional areas of expertise.

“We’re pleased by the news as anything that increases awareness of this wonderful cuisine and style of eating can only be a good thing.”

Tampopo expansion

Fox added: “We are a growing company with a great and supportive shareholder base. We have an exciting six months ahead with at least one opening in central London and other exciting business developments in play.

“There will be a stage in the near future when we will seek growth funding for a more aggressive roll-out and we will be considering all options including institutional backing, trade and high net worth individuals.”

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