Private equity firm Piper has taken a £10m stake in restaurant group Flat Iron.
Steak restaurant group Flat Iron has four restaurants in London, in Soho, Tottenham Court Road, Covent Garden and Shoreditch.
It was founded in 2012 as a pop-up above a London pub by Charlie Carroll and opened its first permanent site later that year in Beak Street in Soho.
Carroll said he was inspired to start the business because he felt the steak market was served either by good quality but very expensive high-end restaurants or poor quality, mass market offers. Flat Iron sells high quality steak for £10.
It is due to open two later this year in Golborne Road and King’s Cross. It has more than 200 employees.
The £10m investment sees early backers exit the business and provides the company with funds to build the team and to open more restaurants in and around London. Founder Carroll retains a controlling stake of the business and will remain as managing director.
Charlie Carroll said: “I wanted to work with a partner who shared my vision for Flat Iron and my ambition to build restaurants that focus on being better and different at every stage of the guest experience. Piper’s passion for Flat Iron has been evident from the outset, they have taken great care to build a relationship with me and to really understand what we are trying to do. This, coupled with their deep understanding of the sector and ability to add significant value through their networks, knowledge and in-house expertise, led me to select them as my partner.”
Peter Kemp-Welch, partner at Piper, said: “The consistently long queues outside Flat Iron are testimony to Charlie’s passion for providing outstanding quality steak at great value, offering customers an “everyday occasion” – special enough for visits to be planned but quick, convenient and affordable enough to attract spontaneous as well as regular visits. We are looking forward to working with Charlie to continue growing Flat Iron into a beacon brand of excellence.”
Piper was advised on the deal by Bond Dickinson and Sentio Insight. The company and shareholders were advised by GCA Altium and Jones Day. NatWest has provided new banking facilities to support the growth of the business.
Sam Fuller, managing director of GCA Altium, said: “Flat Iron is one of the most sought-after casual dining concepts out there at present, disrupting the market by delivering great quality steak at an affordable price. Charlie is building something special and, in Piper, the company has found the perfect partner to help it become a real force in the casual dining sector.”
Neil Parry and Nicholas Kalamaras of NatWest said: “The passion and creativity that Charlie Carroll bring to his business are really impressive and we are excited to play our part in Flat Iron’s continuing growth.”
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