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Fri 30th Jan 2015 - Antic secure five freeholds, Shake Shack soars
Antic secures five freeholds, plans six openings: A new funding package has been agreed that will keep five core sites inside the Antic London estate, in a deal involving the investment fund Downing, Antic, Barclays and several Downing-managed VCTs. Steven Kenee, head of licensed leisure at Downing, said: "It's been a long and complex process but I am incredibly pleased to announce that it is now complete. The five sites is question hold huge emotional and financial importance to the estate and we are delighted that a deal was agreed that allows them to remain in the family. As well as a unnerving ability to identify potential in sites or locations that others fail to see, the Antic London team have a fantastic track record of delivering really great pubs that capture the hearts and minds of the neighbourhoods they sit in and generate huge levels of customer loyalty and support." Mark Crowther, chairman of Downing’s Antic London business, said: "They are all iconic freehold sites and several now have the opportunity for further investment, with rooms planned for three of the pubs.” Crowther, who is also chief executive of the Liberation Group, added: “We are grateful for the ongoing support of Downing and their investors, along with the bank, for providing the funds to make this transaction happen, as we look to grow with further freehold acquisitions in the coming years.” Over the past five years, the Downing-funded Antic London estate has grown from three to 25 sites, with another six sites due to open in the first half of 2015. Of these sites, 26 are freehold. This is in addition to a dozen leasehold sites that have been self-funded by the management team. Total sales for the Downing-funded sites grew by 20% over the 12 months to 31 December, with like-for-like sales growth of 8.8%. The Downing VCT and EIS funds that had funded the initial freehold acquisitions had matured. However, Antic said, the new funding package not only allows the retention of five core sites but also creates a springboard for further growth.

Shake Shack valued at almost $1.8bn after shares soar:
Shake Shack, the burger chain has soared in value to almost $1.8bn on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange after raising $105 million in an initial public offering amid huge investor demand for its stock. Shares of the burger chain more than doubled to $49.26 as of 10:17am New York local time. Shake Shack, owned by restaurateur Danny Meyer, sold five million shares for $21 apiece as part of the IPO, after offering them for $17 to $19 each. The stock listed under the symbol SHAK. The company had a modest beginning, opening in 2001 as a project to help support the restoration of Madison Square Park in Manhattan. Three years later, the first official Shake Shack was born. The company started expanding in 2008 and it now has 63 stores from Chicago to Dubai, which sell burgers, fries and frozen custard, and at the IPO price, had a valuation of about $746m. Shake Shack plans to open ten new company-operated stores each year in the US starting this year. Part of its proceeds will be used toward expansion and renovating existing stores. Additionally, Shake Shack plans to use the proceeds to make a payment to Meyer and early backers such as Leonard Green & Partners, and to repay debt. Shake Shack is profitable, posting $3.55m in net income in the 39 weeks to September 24. While that figure represents a 20% fall from the same period in 2013, revenue jumped 41% in that time.The company has 63 outlets, including 36 in the United States and one in the UK, with anpther UK outlet planned for this year.

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