Drake & Morgan to grow to 70 sites with Bowmark Capital investment

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Management, Investment, Drake & morgan

Jillian MacLean, the originator of Drake & Morgan, will remain with the company following the buyout by Bowmore Capital
Jillian MacLean, the originator of Drake & Morgan, will remain with the company following the buyout by Bowmore Capital
Bowmark Capital has bought bar and restaurant group Drake & Morgan for £30m with plans to grow the business to 70 sites across the UK. 

The mid-market private equity firm, which owns restaurant chain Las Iguanas, said the concept, founded in 2008 by the Imbiba Partnership was 'an appealing proposition for both customers and landlords' and had potential to grow beyond its London base. 

Drake & Morgan currently has five sites in London and will open another two this year - The Happenstance in St Paul's and another site in Holborn. Its management team has identified another eight sites it wants to open in the next two years, but the latest move will allow it to grow quicker and into other towns and cities.  

Drake & Morgan managing director Jillian MacLean, who created the 'female-friendly' bar and restaurant group with an all-day food and drink offering, will retain a minority stake in the business alongside Imbiba partners Simon Wheeler, Mark Brumby and John Connell.

Connell, who will continue in his role as chairman, said: "This transaction is consistent with our ‘buy, build and exit’ business model. Drake and Morgan has now completed its ‘start-up stage’ following which the dynamics of the company will change and it is now time to hand over to new owners to move the company to a more mature level.

"This exit represents a truly excellent return for Imbiba Partnership shareholders and illustrates our consistent ability to deliver significant shareholder value.  We have known Bowmark for a long time and have been impressed by their understanding and approach to the sector. I look forward to working with them during this transition period and seeing Drake & Morgan flourish over the coming years.”

Bowmark partner, Ron Pearson, said: “Drake & Morgan represents an appealing proposition for both customers and landlords, and is led by one the best management teams in the hospitality sector. We believe the business has significant potential for further growth, and look forward to working with Jillian and her team to scale the business.”

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