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Fri 15th Feb 2019 - Exclusive: Giggling Squid set to appoint advisors to consider its options
Exclusive: Giggling Squid set to appoint advisors to consider its options: Giggling Squid, the Thai tapas brand founded by Andy and Pranee Laurillard and backed by Business Growth Fund (BGF), is set to appoint advisors as it considers its options for the next stage of its growth, Propel has learned. The 30-strong group, which the Laurillard’s founded in Hove in 2009, is believed to be set to appoint advisory firm GCA Altium to oversee the process, which is expected to lead to BGF exiting the business, in which it has a 29% stake. BGF invested £6.4m in the then 13-strong Giggling Squid. The Laurillards own about 67%, whilst management, including chairman Simon Kossoff, owns the rest. It is thought a private equity deal is the most likely avenue for the company, but that an IPO could also be explored, with a sale to a trade buyer the least likely outcome, with the Laurillards believed to want to continue to grow the business. In the year to 31 March 2018, Giggling Squid lifted underlying earnings before one-offs by 54% to £3.28m, with turnover up 29% to £23.7m. It is thought that company’s current run-rate Ebitda is north of £5m, with the business valued at £45m-£50m. Average weekly sales across its estate are thought to north of £20,000. Andy Laurillard stated last year that he believes the company can reach the 50-site mark over the next three years. The company has sites already secured for openings later this year in Oxford and Leamington Spa, with a number of further sites under negotiation. Propel insights editor Mark Wingett will give his views on Giggling Squid in his Propel Premium opinion article to be sent out this afternoon. He will also give his views on the large managed pub companies and the departure of The Restaurant Group chief executive Andy McCue as part of his next piece for Premium subscribers, which will also be sent out on Friday. Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, access to our database of 1,300 multi-site companies, discounts to attend Propel conferences and events, and regular video recordings of key speakers from Propel events and conferences. An annual premium subscription costs £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers – plus £50 each for additional team members. Email to sign up.

Just Eat reports 500 millionth UK order: Just Eat announces that it has achieved its 500 millionth UK order. The company stated: “This significant landmark demonstrates Just Eat’s continued growth and performance in the UK market and reinforces its position as the leading online food delivery app in the UK. The 500 millionth order comes as Just Eat continues to build its world class marketplace while rolling out targeted delivery services across the UK to create a unique hybrid service that matches demand with delivery capacity. This will help Just Eat to increase its overall customer base in the UK and serve even more brilliant food moments.The achievement reflects the fact that food delivery is rapidly becoming the norm. Since processing its first order in April 2006, Just Eat has pioneered the sector and grown to over 30,000 restaurant partners nationwide serving more than 100 cuisines. Having taken eight years to achieve 100 million orders, Just Eat has reached 500 million orders just ten months after hitting 400 million, using its technology to provide excellent service and benefits to customers and restaurants alike. This equates to four orders per second over the past ten months. The milestone highlights that Just Eat is strongly positioned to capitalise on the significant £83 billion plus market opportunity in food delivery in the markets where it operates, with the UK an important part of its international network offering customers across 13 countries the widest possible choice to enjoy their favourite takeaway experience.” Graham Corfield, UK managing director of Just Eat, said: “Reaching the half a billion order milestone in the UK is a massive achievement for this business. It’s testament to our commitment to be the food app that offers whatever you’re craving – from your local independent Chinese or Indian takeaway to ordering in from much-loved branded restaurants such as KFC and Burger King. Our rapid growth is also a result of the true partnership we’ve forged with our restaurant partners, supporting them to ensure these high street heroes thrive. As online food delivery rapidly becomes the norm, Just Eat is well positioned to continue championing all the restaurants we work with and delivering for the nation.”

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