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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 28th Oct 2015 - Leon secures £11.5m funding package from HSBC
Leon secures £11.5m funding package from HSBC: Healthy food brand Leon has secured a funding package worth £11.5m from new banking partner HSBC. The facility will fund Leon’s plans to expand both nationally and internationally and restructure existing debt. Leon’s £11.5m refinancing package from HSBC will help support its new openings and the brand’s plans to expand into North America and beyond. The company-owned estate currently numbers 23 restaurants and has plans for three further openings before the end of 2015, including sites in Leadenhall and Hammersmith. After opening in Birmingham New Street in September, Leon has been looking at locations such as Manchester and Glasgow with the hope to be there next year. Demand for healthier food on-the-go has risen dramatically recently, with a third of the UK thinking about their wellbeing when making meal decisions and two thirds admitting concern over the quality and freshness of their food. There has also been a surge of interest in “free from” food – the sector has grown 26.9% in the last year – which Leon’s gluten, wheat and dairy free options have helped lead the way with since entering the high street in 2004. The finance package marks the start of a new banking relationship with HSBC, which is committed to supporting ambitious British businesses, and is indicative of Leon’s huge commercial attraction. Leon co-founder and chief executive John Vincent said: “Throughout the process of getting to know each other, I have been struck by the desire of HSBC to understand our business and help us grow. They have toured our kitchens, walked into our big fridges, talked to our managers and eaten our food. I believe that they are backing us because they believe in the culture that everyone at Leon is creating.” Amanda Murphy, HSBC UK head of corporate banking, added: “HSBC is proud to support ambitious British businesses and we look forward to helping Leon achieve its goals to grow, both at home and abroad.”

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