Lonsdale Capital Partners to acquire Simmons Bars group with financial backing from OakNorth

06/02/2018 - 07:00
Entrepreneurial bank OakNorth has lent private equity firm, Lonsdale Capital Partners, an undisclosed sum to acquire London cocktail group, Simmons Bars.

Founded in 2009, Lonsdale hopes to expand the 12-strong bar group (including venues in Camden, Clerkenwell, Soho and Liverpool Street) to “30 sites in the short to medium term,” building on its “impressive growth trajectory over the past three years.”

With Simmons’s co-founder and current chief executive, Nick Campbell, continuing to lead the business, Lonsdale will support in adding further sites across London.

James Knott, investment director at Lonsdale Capital Partners, said: “Since our founding in 2009, (Lonsdale’s) investment approach has been to back businesses operating in an attractive niche, with strong and ambitious management teams.

“Simmons is a perfect example of this – although it is a relatively young business (established in 2013), it has grown impressively over the past four years under the leadership of Nick Campbell and now boasts a well-located, profitable estate.

“In addition, it is positioned in one of the fastest growing leisure segments in the UK - the specialist cocktail bar market – which is expected to be worth £608 million by 2021. With this finance from OakNorth, we will be able to provide Simmons with the capital and expertise required to help the company reach its full potential.”

OakNorth debt finance director, Stuart Blair, added: “This is the first deal we’ve done with Lonsdale which emphasises our commitment to supporting private equity deals in the lower mid-market.

“Despite increasing competition, chains such as Simmons Bars have managed to carve themselves a niche, and build a dedicated following in the cities in which they operate. With Lonsdale’s support, Simmons will be able to pursue its ambitious growth plans of reaching 36 sites over the next four years.”

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