Brasserie Bar Co

Brasserie Bar Co

Brasserie Bar Co secures £20m OakNorth backing

OakNorth Bank has agreed to lend £20m to the group behind Brasserie Blanc enabling the business to open 24 new sites and create 700 new jobs.

Challenger bank OakNorth has completed a £20m loan to Brasserie Bar Co Ltd, the bar and restaurant chain which has 35 sites across its two brands: Brasserie Blanc and The White Brasserie Company.

Brasserie Blanc’s premium casual dining concept was originally developed by Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, and operates 20 sites across the UK.

The White Brasserie Company was established in 2010 and has seven sites in Surrey, four in London, and additional sites in Hertfordshire, Cheshire, Essex and Buckinghamshire (15 in total).

The group will use the finance from OakNorth to open 24 new sites by 2022 taking the total estate to 59.

Mark Derry, CEO of Brasserie Bar Co, said: "We have ambitious plans for both brands.  

"Brasserie Blanc is well positioned to capitalise on the increased interest and footfall resulting from the refurbishment of the estate and The White Brasserie pubs have gone from three to 14 in the last four years with a menu, service ethos and ambience that is really hitting the mark with guests.

“OakNorth was able to provide us with the right financing structure and flexibility to support our mid-term roll out strategy. With this new finance in place, we will be able to open 24 new sites in the next five years, growing our team and presence in the market.”

To date, the group has been backed by equity investment from private equity firm, Core Capital Partners LLP, and debt provided by ESO Capital in 2014, which enabled it to rebrand and refurbish the Brasserie Blanc restaurants, and expand the White Brasserie brand.

The rebrand has proven to be an effective move for the business - its most recent accounts revealed an increase in turnover from £37m to £41m in 2016, with market-leading like-for-like growth in the Brasserie Blanc estate.

Earlier this year, the group announced plans to open restaurants in hotels with the first one having opened this month at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel.

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance at OakNorth Bank, added: “Since our launch, we have been focused on one thing – solving the problem of scaling non-standard lending in the UK, backing quality management teams in the process.

"Brasserie Bar Co. is an ambitious and entrepreneurial business which, despite uncertain market conditions, has continued to expand every year since inception, even during the recession.

"The business is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, yet has managed to stay fresh in an increasingly competitive market by expanding its offering into new formats and settings, and rebranding at the opportune time."