Healthy fast-food operator Vital Ingredient has secured a £12m funding package to support expansion plans in London and throughout the UK.
The company, which currently operates 17 stores in the capital, plans to more than double that number within the next three years.
Private equity firm LDC, part of Lloyds Banking Group, has invested more than £8m in a management buyout deal of Vital Ingredient. Santander will provide a further £4m to support the expansion programme.
Founder Alex Heynes opened the first store in London’s West End 15 years ago. He led the buyout team, which also includes managing director Paolo Peretti and finance director John Moulton.
Vital Ingredients offers a range of salads that are tossed to order in front of the customer from a choice of more than 65 ingredients and dressings. It also has a selection of hot food, soups, superfood smoothies, snacks and desserts.
In addition to its retail outlets, Vital Ingredients also runs an online delivery service and a click and collect offering.
The firm employs more than 200 people and has doubled turnover in the last three years to over £12m.
Peretti said: “We have seen rapid growth in recent years in line with the ever-increasing demand for on-the-go, healthy eating. Our brand sits right at the heart of that market, providing thousands of people with convenient options that also provide quality nutritional content and maximum choice.
“Having the support of an experienced and supportive investment partner like LDC will give us the additional firepower needed to secure new stores and accelerate growth.”
The transaction was led by LDC investment directors Simon Hemley, Alistair Pendleton, and Peter Latham, with Hemley and Pendleton joining the board as non-executive directors. Private investor Paul Oberschneider has sold his stake in the business.
Graham Turner, former CEO of restaurant group Tragus, will join the board as non-executive chairman.
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