Called Nightcap, the company has announced its intention to float on AIM as part of its vision to become the UK’s leading bar operating group through the acquisition, investment and expansion of drinks-led hospitality concepts.
Its first move sees the purchase of the 10-strong LCC business with a view to growing it to 40 sites in London and other major UK cities, in the next five years.
With the increased availability of sites, with more favourable rents and incentives from landlords, the Nightcap management believes the group will be well placed in the coming years, it says.
In addition, Nightcap will look to acquire, re-capitalise and rollout other high quality, drinks-led bar brands that focus on how consumers will want to live and socially interact, post-Covid.
As well as co-founding LCC with bartender JJ Goodman, Willingham’s experience includes at PizzaExpress, The Bombay Bicycle Club and Clapham House Group.
She is also currently an investor in Tonkotsu Group, where she chairs the board and is Nightcap’s CEO.
“I’m delighted that LCC is our first acquisition. It’s a great business that I know very well – its model is proven, simple and replicable,” she says.
“LCC has continued to trade well when we have been allowed to open this year and we believe it has the potential for significant growth as we emerge from the COVID crisis.
“Over the past decade, LCC has carved out its own niche in the capital’s cocktail scene as a place for people to drink amazing cocktails prepared by an award-winning team of bartenders, while in the middle of a party.
“Its strong performance despite the challenges of this year underscores its appeal to consumers’ desire for a safe, vibrant, party atmosphere and high-quality drinks.”
The majority of LCC’s current shareholders will roll their investment into the new vehicle, including Goodman
LCC was founded in 2010 by Willingham alongside JJ Goodman, Raymond Blanc, David Moore and James Hopkins.