Turtle Bay secures more expansion funds

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Turtle bay, Restaurant

Turtle Bay plans to open a further 20 outlets over the next three to five years
Turtle Bay plans to open a further 20 outlets over the next three to five years
Turtle Bay, the four-strong Caribbean restaurant concept developed by one of the founders of Las Iguanas, has secured yet more funding to aid its expansion plans to open a further 20 outlets over the next three to five years.

Piper, the backer of Loungers and founder of Pitcher and Piano, is investing £6m in Turtle Bay. The news comes less than a month after the restaurant chain – conceived by Aj Jaya-Wickrema​- secured a financing agreement with Santander.

“I’m delighted to be working with the Piper team again,” said Jaya-Wickrema – Piper previously delivered a six-times multiple on its investment in Latin American restaurant group Las Iguanas.

“Their deep-rooted experience and understanding of the sector has meant we have been able to complete this deal in a very tight time frame.

“For me, this was hugely important in ensuring the deal didn’t distract management from our focus on building Turtle Bay into a successful national brand. With Piper’s ongoing support I am confident that we will create a uniquely valuable business.”

Fifth Fund

Turtle Bay promises ‘to transport you to the Caribbean without a plane ticket’, offering sharing nibbles and 'cutters', Jerk Pit BBQ dishes, one-pot meals and salads. The company also offers take-out services at its four sites.

It opened its first outlet in Milton Keynes in 2011, followed by restaurants in Bristol, Nottingham​and Southampton.​It plans to open a further 20 restaurants by 2018.

This £6m cash injection is the third to come from Piper’s £107m ‘Fifth Fund’, with Loungers and Be at One the previous two investments.

Dynamic offering

Peter Kemp-Welch, a partner of Piper, said: ‘We have been tracking consumers’ interests in different ethnic food tastes, particularly those with more spice, and so have watched Turtle Bay’s progress from the first opening.

“Aj has once again created a unique and dynamic offering with huge growth potential in a sector that continues to thrive and innovate. This is the first time Piper has had an opportunity to back a founder for a second time, and we take it as a great compliment that Aj has chosen to work with us again.

“We look forward to helping Turtle Bay spread the Caribbean vibe across the country.”

The fifth Turtle Bay restaurant is already in the pipeline, with a site in Leicester’s Highcross shopping centre set to open this summer.

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