The Alchemist Mixes It Up With Deal Of The Month Award
The £13m private equity-backed management buyout of The Alchemist, the cocktail bar and restaurant chain, has been named North West Business Insider's Deal of the Month for May 2015.
A £12m equity investment from Palatine and £6.5m development and working capital facilities from Santander is expected to help the business, which currently has two venues in Manchester as well as one each in Leeds and London, develop its existing sites and open new venues in city centre locations.
The Alchemist reported sales of £11.3m last year and now employs 250 members of staff.
Living Ventures, which operates restaurants and bars such as Australasia, Manchester House and Artisan, was formed by Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts in 1999. Both Bacon and Roberts will retain an active role in The Alchemist following the deal, with Bacon named as chairman and Roberts becoming a non-executive director.
As part of the investment, meanwhile, Palatine's managing partner Gary Tipper and investment director Beth Houghton will join the board as non-executive directors.
Speaking at the time, Bacon, chief executive of Living Ventures and chairman of Alchemist, said: "The Alchemist is a very strong brand which offers a unique customer experience. With the investment from Palatine we will be able to make The Alchemist a recognised brand throughout the UK."
David Casey, digital news editor at Insider, said: "This transaction gives the management team fresh impetus to grow the business and help the cocktail bar and restaurant chain expand across the UK."
BDO in Manchester provided corporate finance advice to Palatine, led by M&A director Kieran Lawton and supported by James Gregson. The firm also provided financial due diligence (Chris Heatlie and Robert Dawes) and tax services (Emma Suchland and Lauren Fletcher).
Shoosmiths' team of Kieron Toal, Damien Brown, Kelly Harvey and Ruth Evans provided legal advice to Palatine and Pinsent Masons advised management. TLT advised management on the deal in support of Pinsent Masons.
The Alchemist is open for morning coffee, brunch, lunch and dinner offering everything Living Ventures are renowned for – excellent service, innovative cocktails and great food.