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Browne Jacobson acts for Le Bistrot Pierre on investment

21 December 2015
Browne Jacobson has advised long standing client Le Bistrot Pierre on a £9.8m investment in the French restaurant group by Livingbridge, the mid-market private equity investment firm.

Co-founders Robert Beacham and John Whitehead opened their first French restaurant in Nottingham over 20 years ago. The privately owned group currently has 14 bistrots in its portfolio with new openings scheduled for Birmingham and Swansea in 2016 and has been valued in the region of £20 million.

The investment is being made from Livingbridge’s new £220m Enterprise 2 Fund which has been set up to support fast growing SMEs requiring up to £10m of equity capital and is its second deal in the restaurant sector having invested in Pho, the Vietnamese restaurant chain, in 2012.

Founded in 1995 Livingbridge specialises in investing on behalf of both institutional and retail investors in unquoted companies in the UK and across Europe with profits in excess of £1m. Its specialist sectors include business services; consumer markets, financial services; healthcare & education; information technology, TMT, energy and environmental.

The Browne Jacobson team was led by Richard Cox, assisted by Andrew Noble (Head of Tax), Christian Burchardt, Sam Sharp, Hayley Gilbert, Marcus Pyke and Claire Burns.

Browne Jacobson has been instructed by Robert Beacham and John Whitehead on a number of the Group’s corporate deals over many years, including the sale of Nottingham’s historic Lace Market Hotel to the Finesse Hotels Group back in 2005.

Joint Managing Director John Whitehead said:
“We are excited by Livingbridge’s endorsement of our business and, with their investment, look forward to expanding our estate and opening more successful bistrots. The whole process leading up to the deal has been smooth and we are now relishing this new phase of growth with our partners. Huge credit for that needs to go to Richard Cox and the Browne Jacobson team who have  once again delivered exceptional legal advice and support. We have built a strong relationship with the firm going back many years and their understanding of our business enables them to provide perfectly tailored, commercial advice, ensuring deals are completed quickly and smoothly.”

Richard Cox added:
“It has been a pleasure completing this transaction for a long standing client having first acted for Robert and John on the sale of the Lace Market Hotel ten years ago. Le Bistrot Pierre’s successful journey very much mirrors our own and having regularly dined in their very first restaurant when it opened in the city over twenty years ago it has been great to see a business with such strong roots in Nottingham grow and flourish. This latest investment marks another exciting milestone for the business which has deservedly earned a reputation for providing high quality cuisine. We look forward to supporting Le Bistrot Pierre on future opportunities."


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