The new UK business, which will be financed through an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), aims to roll out ‘quickly’ over a three-year period, with two sites to be launched within the next 12 months.
The first is likely to be in the South East, relatively close to London, and a number of other sites are under consideration, particularly in the Essex area.
Horler, who was responsible for the UK growth of fellow Spanish brand La Tasca and is currently the interim chief executive of Red Hot World Buffet, believes La Sala is ‘the right brand to bring to the UK at this time’.
“The La Sala brand already has international recognition, celebrity style status and is a firm favourite with Britons who holiday in Southern Spain,” he said.
“We are aiming to bring a little bit of sunshine to these shores transferring the La Sala blend of atmosphere, quality, exceptional service and value that is part of the proven formula for success.
“I am really excited about this opportunity as this is a totally different concept.”
Situated in Puerto Banus, the current La Sala site offers the ‘ultimate social and dining experience’, with customers able to choose from a varied menu offering a range of International and Spanish favourites and live music played every evening.
It has become a popular haunt for celebrities with Jamie Oliver, Eva Longoria and Ashley Cole all frequenting there recently.
The new UK venues aim to ‘capture the same quality and high energy ambience’ as their Spanish namesake, with quality gastronomy available all day along with entertainment in the evening.
The development of the new company, to be named La Sala Limited, will be financed through the EIS, which will raise between £3.5 and £4.5m. Horler will be joined by Steve Tatlock as financial director and Barry Aldridge to guide on licensor conditions and strategies.
La Sala is part of Sala Group Holdings, which also owns Sala Beach and Aqwa Mist in Puerto Banus and El Rincón de La Sala in San Pedro.