Bowmark Capital, the mid-market private equity firm, has agreed to sell Las Iguanas, the UK’s leading Latin American restaurant chain, to Casual Dining Group.
Las Iguanas serves more than three million customers a year with Latin dishes cooked fresh on site at its 41 restaurants. The award-winning business is noted for its innovative approach, high levels of service and affordable prices.
Since Bowmark invested in 2007, the business has grown threefold, with the number of sites increasing from 14 to 41. Las Iguanas has expanded from its South West heartland into a national brand, with sites now spread across the country from Aberdeen to Plymouth. Over this period the company has created more than 1,200 jobs.
Liberty were appointed to advise the senior management team at Las Iguanas.
It is unique in the restaurant sector for its attention to staff, having being awarded champion status with Investors in People and being a Times Top 100 employer. The business will continue to be led by its chief executive, Mos Shamel, and Eren Ali, who founded the business nearly 25 years ago, will be stepping down as executive chairman.
Mos Shamel, CEO commented:
“As a management team we decided very early in the process that we wanted independent corporate finance advice. Liberty were on board from the outset and used their experience and resources to ensure we were fully prepared for any discussions with the bidders and our interests were looked after.”