Fulham Shore acquires Franco Manca pizza business: Fulham Shore has conditionally agreed to buy 99% of the shares in Rocca, the owner of the Franco Manca restaurant group, which specialises in Neapolitan sourdough pizza and currently has ten restaurants in London. One of these restaurants, on Tottenham Court Road, is currently operated by the company under a franchise agreement. The value of the deal is approximately £27.5 million, to be satisfied by approximately £6.2 million in cash and the balance of approximately £21.3 million by the issue of 193,457,975 new Ordinary Shares at 11p per share. The company has conditionally raised a total of £4.75 million via a placing and subscription of new ordinary shares at 11p per share. Fulham Shore chairman David Page said: “We’re delighted to have agreed to acquire Franco Manca, an excellent growing business. The success to date of our franchise on Tottenham Court Road encouraged the Board to pursue this acquisition. Alongside The Real Greek, we believe we are creating a portfolio of exciting and well regarded restaurant brands. We believe that the staff working at our restaurants are key to the success of our business. As such we intend to gift shares in the Company to a share incentive scheme, which will be used to provide each and every member of our staff with 1,500 shares in Fulham Shore.” Target’s unaudited management accounts for the Franco Manca Group show revenue of £5.75 million, Ebitda before opening costs of £1.2 million and profit before tax of £0.6 million for the year to 27 April 2014, with net assets at that date of £4.5 million. As at 27 March 2015, Target had net debt of £1.3 million. A note to shareholder this morning states: “The directors believe that Franco Manca’s current estate of ten restaurants provides a firm base on which to expand, initially in London and then, in time, elsewhere in the UK. They further believe that, supported by the company, Franco Manca has the potential to grow to at least 40 restaurants in the UK over the next five years.”
Tasty reports profit before tax up 46%: Wildwood operator Tasty has reported profit before tax up 46% to £2,252,000 (2013: £1,742,000) in the year to 28 December 2014. Revenue for the year was up 28% on last year to £29,734,000 (2013 – £23,192,000). Operating profit before pre-opening costs and non-trading items was up 34% on last year at £3,090,000 (2013 – £2,301,000). Pre-opening costs for the period totalled £360,000 (2013 – £259,000). Seven new Wildwood and Wildwood Kitchen restaurants were opened during the year: Oakham and Salisbury opened in March. Camberley, Nottingham and Ludlow were all opened in August with Bristol and Wantage opening in November and December respectively. Since the year end a further three sites have been opened and a number of other sites are already in the pipeline, at various stages of completion and negotiation. The Company continued to have access to its banking facility of £4,000,000 (£1,000,000 term loan and £3,000,000 revolving facility which remains unused). During the year the company repaid £250,000 of the term loan. As at 28 December 2014 the balance of the company’s term loan was £750,000. At the end of the period the group operated 36 restaurants. Currently, the group has 39 restaurants in operation – Six DimTs, 32 Wildwoods and Wildwood Kitchens and one other. Since the year end trading has been in line with expectations.