Global private equity firm TriSpan has acquired a majority stake in Rosa’s Thai Cafe.
TriSpan was rumoured to be positioned to buy a majority stake of the Thai restaurant group through its Rising Stars restaurant platform earlier this week.
Rosa’s managing director Gavin Adair will lead the group in its next phase of growth and will be supported by Robin Rowland, former YO! chief executive and TriSpan European operating partner, who will join the board in the role of non-executive chairman.
Rosa’s founders Alex and Saiphin Moore will remain involved in the business, respectively focusing on the group’s culture, innovation and food quality.
Alex and Saiphin Moore opened the first Rosa’s in London’s Spitalfields in 2008. The group now has 13 sites with three new openings scheduled for 2018 (Tower Bridge, Bluewater shopping centre, Kent and Liverpool’s Albert Docks), as well as a Lao Café in Covent Garden.
A “significant number of employees at every level within the group” will have their stock options partially realised and will reinvest with TriSpan.
TriSpan Rising Stars fund was founded by Fady Michel Abouchalache and Elan Schultz in 2016. In the past six months, the fund’s partners have invested in two casual dining chains in the USA: Yardbird and Rosa Mexicano.
Alex Moore said: “We set up Rosa’s Thai Cafe to be a progressive, responsive and thoughtful group of restaurants and we’re really proud that has stood us in such good stead. Saiphin will remain a constant influence in the kitchens, and I look forward to focusing on maintaining the ethos and fairness that are the foundations of the business.”
Adair added: “This investment with like-minded partners allows us to do what we always wanted to do: serve more of our great Thai food to more people. I’m thrilled that our founders will remain actively involved in the next stage of our journey and look forward to working with them, the wider management team and TriSpan to build on everything the Rosa’s family has achieved.”
The transaction was led by TriSpan’s Jurriaan van der Schee and Joseph-Patrick Dib, who said: “The TriSpan team have been tracking Rosa’s Thai Cafe for some time now given its authenticity, solid financial performance, health-orientation and support for multi-channel/multi-format growth. We feel passionate about it and are excited to support the founders and the management team in their journey ahead.”
Rowland added: “I am delighted that the founders will remain involved with this terrific growth business, and I look forward to partnering with Gavin Adair and the rest of the brilliant management team for the next chapter of Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s growth.”