Fast casual dining chain Leon has sold a minority stake to private equity firm Spice, securing £25m to help boost its expansion plans.
The company, which currently has 46 restaurants in the UK and two in the Netherlands, is now looking to add more sites, including some in the US in late 2017.
Leon CEO and co-founder, John Vincent, said his ambition is for the company to 'become the world's leading naturally fast food company'. Once the deal is completed Spice will become the largest shareholder in the company, and will work in partnership with Vincent, and long-standing investor in the business, Active.
'To be successful Leon needs the right purpose, the right leaders and the right investors,' Vincent said. 'To become the world's leading naturally fast food company we need partners who share the vision and can help make it happen.'
Fersen Lambranho, chairman of GP Investments, the controlling shareholder and manager of Spice, added: 'Leon is a disruptive fast-food model that was born in the UK but has an immense potential to become global. We see Leon as an opportunity to replicate the great success of a former investment, Fogo de Chão, a Brazilian steakhouse that expanded into the US and is now listed on the NASDAQ.'