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Thu 21st Jun 2018 - Company with rights to Willy Wonka brand seeks £5.5m to launch flagship London restaurant
Company with rights to Willy Wonka brand seeks £5.5m to launch flagship London restaurant, plans global roll out: The company that owns the rights to the Willy Wonka brand is aiming to raise £5.5m as it plans a global roll-out of a themed, family dining restaurant concept called Wonka & Co. The Roald Dahl Story Company has set up subsidiary RDK Covent Garden, which is seeking the investment to finance the first restaurant, planned for a landmark central London site. RDK Convent Garden is already in negotiations with investors for about half of the funds and is looking to secure the remainder through crowdfunding platform Growthdeck. The signature 220-cover restaurant in London is slated to open in September 2019 in the West End. Of the £5.5m being sought, £3m will be used for the fit-out and build, £825,000 for the lease premium, £1,175,000 for pre-opening costs and working capital of £500,000. Subsequently, Wonka & Co owner-operated sites will be rolled out in major cities in the US, Australia, Asia and Europe, with a total of five sites over six years, each with a similar budget to the London restaurant. Expansion is also intended in a smaller 120-cover format via a franchise model into family resorts, key airports and family leisure destinations. A total of 28 sites globally over a six-year period are targeted, with the company reporting interest from franchise operators in Las Vegas and Asia. RDK Convent Garden is led by managing director Shaan Mahotri, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry and most recently was the lead on the EMEA franchising arm of Wahlburgers, securing 200 sites in China and 25 in the United Arab Emirates. RDK Convent Garden is seeking up to £3m from Growthdeck investors and is offering 16.36% equity in return for the investment. The pitch stated: “By 2024, annual sales of £34.4m are expected to be generated by the proposed five sites, delivering a gross margin of 73% and Ebitda in excess of £8m (23.4% margin). Additional profits from the franchised restaurants are forecast to generate a total Ebitda in excess of £9.8m (28.6% margin).” Based on its exit assumptions, RDK Convent Garden said the equity investment offers the prospect of a possible money return of 5.9 times in circa 2024, with management targeting a possible 7.9 times.

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