The Alchemist strikes gold after private equity-backed management buyout

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Expansion: the Alchemist was recently ranked the 20th fastest growing business in the UK
Expansion: the Alchemist was recently ranked the 20th fastest growing business in the UK

Related tags: Management

Manchester-based bar and restaurant brand the Alchemist is set to be rolled out to a number of UK cities after being taken over in a private equity-backed management buyout.

The deal, which includes £12m equity investment from Palatine Private Equity and £6.5m from Santander, will enable the former Living Ventures business to develop its existing sites and open new venues in city-centre locations.

It marks Palatine’s second investment with Living Ventures following its buyout of Gusto last year.

The Alchemist first opened its doors in Manchester in 2010 and currently operates two venues in the city centre, as well as sites in Leeds and London.

It currently employs 250 staff, achieved sales of £11.3m last year, and was recently ranked the 20th fastest growing business in the UK by The Sunday Times.

London site

The Alchemist opened last summer in the City of London and recently extended its Manchester Spinningfields restaurant, adding an additional 2,500 sq ft to meet the increased demand from customers.

Living Ventures founders Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts will both maintain an active role in the business, with Bacon taking on the position as chairman and Roberts becoming a non-executive director.

As part of the investment, Palatine’s managing partner Gary Tipper and investment director Beth Houghton will both join the board of the company as non-executive directors.

Tim Bacon, chief executive of Living Ventures and chairman of Alchemist, said: “The Alchemist is a very strong brand that offers a unique customer experience.

“With the investment from Palatine we will be able to make the Alchemist a recognised brand throughout the UK”

Customer base

Beth Houghton, investment director at Palatine Private Equity, added: “The Alchemist is a fantastic brand and has developed a strong customer base as a result of its innovative and theatrical cocktail offering.

“The Spinningfields site continues to be one of the highest trading units in Manchester and we look forward to introducing the brand to more city centre locations across the UK.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Openings

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