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Mon 1st Jun 2015 - Sky News – 3i eyes Jamie's restaurant stake
Sky News – 3i eyes Jamie’s restaurant stake: One of the UK’s oldest private equity houses is weighing a bid for a stake in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant business, according to Sky News. The FTSE 100-listed private equity company is among a set of prospective investors who have been approached to gauge their interest in buying a big stake in the business, Sky said. Advisers at Royal Bank of Canada are handling the discussions with 3i and other prospective buyers, with Oliver said to be seeking a £200m valuation for his restaurants business. Initial offers are due in about a week, sources told Sky today. 3i is a former shareholder in Giraffe, the chain subsequently acquired by Tesco, while it has also been linked with a bid for Yo! Sushi. The sale process is separate to conversations that Oliver is holding with media groups and financial investors about acquiring shares in his publishing business. In a statement earlier this year, a Jamie Oliver Group spokesman said: “Like any well run private company, we regularly review our funding policy and requirements. All options, including bringing on board an external investor, are considered in order to position the group to take best advantage of the clear market opportunities that lie ahead.” The restaurants unit stake sale is understood not to include Oliver’s Fifteen-branded sites, the first of which opened in 2002 as a place for apprentice chefs to ply their trade. His other retail brands include steakhouse concept. Jamie’s Italian, which celebrated its fifth anniversary last year, reported pre-tax profit dropped to £5,603,711 in the year to 5 January 2014 compared to £7,763,224 the year before. Turnover rose 8.5% to £101,814,477 compared to £93,869,992 the year prior. Ebitda declined 9.6% to £12m because of investment in its international division and the roll-out of its Gold Club customer rewards scheme. The company stated: “We are delighted that the investment in both these areas is already evident during 2014 through a highly engaged Gold Club audience visiting more and more frequently and an increasingly strengthening international operation and pipeline.” The company reported a £22m revolving credit facility and £2m overdraft with the HSBC was increased to £27m in January 2014 and extended by a further three years. The company added: “While the market remains incredibly competitive and the economy still fragile, the directors are confident that as a result of the world class product offered by Jamie’s Italian and Jamie’s Trattoria, which is differentiated by passionate, knowledgeable staff and the freshest of ingredients, ethically sourced, the business will continue to thrive into the future.” The accounts show £2,352,875 of turnover coming from outside of the UK – £99,461,204 of turnover was generated within the UK.

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