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Fri 19th Jul 2019 - Exclusive: former Cote backer takes the lead on Giggling Squid
Exclusive – former Cote backer takes the lead on Giggling Squid: Former Cote backer CBPE is leading the race to acquire Giggling Squid, Propel has learned. The Thai restaurant brand founded by Andy and Pranee Laurillard was placed on the market earlier this year. First-round bids for the BGF-backed Thai chain were due at the start of this month with CBPE, which acquired Cote for circa £100m in September 2013 before selling it in July 2015 to BC Partners for about £250m, believed to among a group of private equity firms to have expressed an interest in investing in the 32-strong business. Propel understands it has now beaten rivals LDC (D&D London) and Primary Capital Partners, which previously backed YO! Sushi, to invest in the company. It’s thought CBPE has bid £45m for the business. Giggling Squid, which the Laurillards founded in Hove in 2009, appointed advisor GCA Altium earlier this year to assess options for its next stage of growth. During the past month the company has added two sites to its openings pipeline after securing the former Jamie’s Italian in Cambridge and a former Grillstock site in Leicester. It has also signed for the former CAU site in Leamington Spa, which is due to open in the autumn subject to planning. BGF is expected to exit the business in which it has a 29% stake – BGF invested £6.4m in the then 13-strong Giggling Squid in 2015. The Laurillards own about 67% of the company while management, including chairman Simon Kossoff, owns the rest. Average weekly sales across its estate are thought to be more than £20,000. Andy Laurillard said last year he believed the company could reach the 50-site mark within the next three years.
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