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Fri 23rd Apr 2021 - Risk appoints experienced senior team to lead Curious Brewery
Risk appoints experienced senior team to lead Curious Brewery: Risk Capital Partners (RCP) has marked the completion of its purchase of Curious Brewery by appointing a new management team to lead the business into the next phase in its development. Mark Crowther, former chief executive of Channel Islands and West Country-based brewer and retailer Liberation Group, and Simon George, former UK head of Budweiser Budvar, join the business as chairman and managing director, respectively. They will take the business forward following its acquisition by RCP, the private equity firm led by Luke Johnson, from English wine company Chapel Down. Johnson said: “We are delighted to be working with Mark and Simon, who together bring an enormous wealth of experience and expertise, adding immense value to this business. I couldn’t think of two better people to help unleash the potential for Curious Brewery, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as they get stuck in.” Crowther has also held senior positions at Carlsberg, Brakes and Diageo. He is currently non-executive chairman at Portobello Brewery. George, who will be responsible for day-to-day operations, led Budweiser Budvar in the UK for seven years before stepping down in January, and previously held senior commercial roles at Magners, Coors and Constellation Brands. Crowther said: “This is a high-quality business with a great group of people, an exceptional, premium range of superb beer and cider, and an extraordinary, market-leading set-up with its state-of-the-art brewery, and accompanying taproom and restaurant. Now, with the support of RCP, it has one of the most experienced and supportive sector-specialist investors in the market, and I am delighted to support the team as we embark on this exciting new phase.” George added: “We see enormous potential to build this business and we are going to work very hard to ensure this fantastic collection of premium beer and cider is available, enjoyed and shared in more places across the UK and internationally.” The change of ownership follows a multimillion-pound development of the new brewery in 2019. Located in Ashford, Kent, it was constructed alongside a visitor centre and a 120-cover bar-restaurant. The deal will be followed with planned investments in a new bottling and canning line, as well as increased support for the sales and marketing functions. As well as acquiring the brand and assets, the deal sees all the company’s staff transfer across. Johnson added: “We see terrific potential in the Curious business and we’re very excited about its future despite the challenges of the past year. Brewing will always be a cornerstone of British culture and the craft beer revolution has only strengthened that. Curious is a great brand made in a fabulous facility and, with our support, we believe the business can be developed further.”

Brands with big UK growth plans lead the updated multi-site database, only available to Propel Premium subscribers: The updated Propel Premium multi-site database, which will be sent to Premium subscribers next Friday (30 April) at midday, has gained an additional 84 companies during the past month, many of which have big growth ambitions in the UK. Subscribers will receive a 4,600-word report on the 84 new brands, concepts and growth companies. They include: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, founded in the US in 1972, has announced plans to enter the UK this year, as has Japanese udon noodles and tempura restaurant company Marugame Udon, with a July opening planned for Spitalfields and a second site at The O2 to follow. Others include Australia’s largest Mexican quick-service franchise Zambrero and South Korea’s leading fried chicken brand PelicanaDoppio Malto has chosen Glasgow for its first opening in the UK, with the owner citing Italy’s connection with the city for the decision – it is the first of 100 planned sites. Miso Group, co-founded by Canadian chef Adria Wu, is planning a UK rollout of a technology-led Middle Eastern-inspired concept called Operation:Falafel. Hero Brands-operated healthy eating concept Choppaluna, has announced a UK rollout, with two London sites being looked at to complement its flagship site in Bloomsbury. The debut site for JiJi’s, a new Israeli-Japanese dining concept, will launch in London’s Islington Square development in June. Meanwhile, Australian entrepreneur Dennis Turner and former Deliveroo global head of restaurant strategy Cengiz Rahmioglu are to launch a Thai-focused concept called Burning Rose. The exhaustive database now holds the details of 1,713 companies – and is only available to Propel Premium subscribers, who will receive the updated list on Friday, 30 April. The go-to database has the most comprehensive multi-site operator information in the sector – it provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different, and what each business specialises in. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Premium subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. In today's (Friday, 23 April) Premium Opinion column, Propel insights editor Mark Wingett looks at EG Group’s deal for Leon, where the brand goes next and the fight for roadside revenue. At the same time, he looks again at the rent situation. Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Mark Wingett. Email anne.steele@propelinfo.com to sign up.

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