Gresham invests in £18m restaurant buyout

UK mid-market investor Gresham, which is currently raising a £200m private equity fund, is sponsoring the £18m buyout of Individual Restaurant Company.

Gresham, the UK mid-market private equity firm which last year spun out of Zurich Financial, has led an £18 million (€27 million; $34 million) management buyout of Individual Restaurant Company, a chain of six restaurants mainly active in the North-West of England.

The equity houses, Lloyds TSB as well as existing and new management are investing in the deal to grow the business and add another nine outlets across the UK over the next three years.

Gresham received legal advise from corporate law firm DLA. Grant Thornton and Deloitte & Touche undertook financial and commercial due diligence respectively.

Gresham invested from Gresham III, the UK mid-market buyout fund it is currently raising. Last December the firm announced a first closing on £153 million for the fund, including a £75 million cornerstone investment from Zurich Financial. At the time, the firm said it was hoping to accomplish a final closing on £200 million in early 2004.

Recent investments completed by the London-based firm, which has offices in in Manchester and Birmingham, include a £7m MBI/MBO of the IT support services firm 2escape2; the £20m expansion funding for 1st Credit, a debt purchase and outsourced debt collection agency; and the £25m management buyout of Altair Filter Technology.