The Wolseley owners receive private equity backing to fund expansion

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Property

Rex Restaurant Associates, the group led by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King which owns The Wolseley, has received private equity backing from Graphite Capital
Rex Restaurant Associates, the group led by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King which owns The Wolseley, has received private equity backing from Graphite Capital
Rex Restaurant Associates, the company headed up by experienced restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, has received private equity backing to fund expansion plans for the group that owns The Wolseley.

Graphite Capital, the private equity group, which previously backed Wagamama, is investing £21m in Rex Restaurant Associates.

The deal comes after Corbin and King regained full ownership of the company earlier this year.

The new funding will be used to fund the group’s future expansion plans. It currently has three projects in the pipeline.

Expansion plans

In June, the company plans to open Brasserie Zédel, an all-day Parisian brasserie, with an American bar and a live music and cabaret venue in the Crown Estate’s Quadrant regeneration development just off Piccadilly Circus. The new restaurant will open on the 20,000sq ft site of the old Atlantic Bar and Grill.

In September, Rex will open another brasserie on the highly-sought-after site of the former Oriel café and restaurant on Sloane Square.

In addition, the group plans to operate a new five-star boutique hotel, The Beaumont, on Balderton Street in Mayfair from 2014. The site is currently being developed in conjunction with the Grosvenor Estate.

The Delaunay

The company, which opened its latest site The Delaunay in London’s Aldwych last November, is also expected to secure additional prime sites in the capital with the new funding.

Karen Jones, former chief executive of Spirit Group and co-founder of Café Rouge is expected to join the company’s board as part of the deal, with John Botts, former United Business Media chairman becoming the group's chairman. Jones is currently chairman of London gastropub chain Food & Fuel.

King, chief executive of Rex Restaurant Associates, said: "We are delighted to receive the support of Graphite, whose knowledge and experience of the leisure and property sectors will be invaluable to Rex, as we embark on the next exciting phase of our development."

Graphite senior partner Andy Gray said: "Arguably the best restaurateurs of their generation, Corbin and King have particularly impressed us with their visionary approach and their attention to detail."

Graphite sold some of its stake in Wagamama to Lion Capital in a deal valuing the business at £102.5m in 2005. It currently has investments in the Groucho Club, the arts members’ club and the Third Space, the London-based health and fitness club chain.

This story was first published by M&C Report. To subscribe to M&C Report please contact Emily Croft on 01293 846578 or email rzvyl.pebsg@jeoz.pbz​.

Related topics: Business, Venues, People, Restaurants, Hotels

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