Penta backs tapas MBI

Penta Capital backs £28.2m management buy-in of Spanish tapas bars and restaurants business La Tasca.

Penta Capital, the Glasgow-based private equity house, has funded the management buy-in of Spanish tapas bars and restaurants business, La Tasca, for a consideration of up to £28.2m (E45.8m) in cash and loan notes. Penta has committed up to £14.5m with debt funding to support the acquisition and a development programme being provided by the Bank of Scotland.

The purchase of La Tasca has been facilitated through the formation of a new company, The Restaurant People Group. It has been created by Penta and the incoming chairman, John Barnes, who was the former chairman of fish and chips chain Harry Ramsden's Plc. The Group has appointed James Horler, currently managing director of restaurant chain Frankie & Benny's, as the chief executive.

La Tasca was acquired from its founder Neil Gatt, who opened the first restaurant in Manchester in 1993, and with backing from 3i went on to open further outlets. The chain currently has 16 restaurants and currently has annual sales of approximately £20.3m and an annual operating profit of approximately £3m.

This acquisition is the fifth investment from Penta’s first fund, Penta Fund 1, which raised in excess of £130m. The fund says it targets UK and Irish mid-market companies valued at between £5-75m with an emphasis on the leisure, support services and IT & communications sectors.