Sheffield – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Roadside restaurant favourite Little Chef is under new ownership. The restaurant brand, which has operated throughout the UK for more than 40 years, has been purchased from private equity firm Permira by The People’s Restaurant Group for £52m.
A team of legal acquisitions experts in the Sheffield office of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary (“DLA Piper”) led by corporate partners Andrew Morris and Richard May and real estate partner Nigel Howard acted for leading catering industry Sheffield-based entrepreneurs Simon Heath and Lawrence Wosskow in their purchase of the British icon – the UK’s largest roadside restaurant chain.
DLA Piper’s Sheffield office Managing Partner Paul Firth said: “Our clients saw an opportunity to save a brand they considered very special to the British public. Their intention is to revitalize and modernise Little Chef and take it onto another level in terms of value for money, food and service.
“We are very pleased to have acted on this important deal and will be continuing to work with them on a regular basis.”
Heath and Wosskow, famous for their expertise in business turnarounds at companies, have big plans to resurrect the restaurant chain – incorporating the reopening of 14 Little Chef sites around the UK including the South Yorkshire base at Barnsdale Bar North near Doncaster.
“It is our belief that Little Chef should be offering good, healthy food on the move, great service and above all, competitive prices. Little Chef should be ensuring UK customers are not held hostage to the poor fast-food offer currently available on our roads and in service stations,” commented Chief Executive Simon Heath.
“There’s enormous potential to work together with the wonderful team of people that are already on board. We intend to bring the brand back to where it deserves to be.
“We’re making a firm promise to our customers and our people. We will give them a better experience in terms of price, product and service, than they have come to expect. Our message is clear – come back and try us again.”
The group, which now takes full control of the Little Chef brand and 235 Little Chef sites, including 113 co-located with Travelodge Hotels, was advised on the acquisition by London based corporate financiers Arbuthnot Securities with bank funding from the Anglo Irish Bank Corporation plc.