Thai restaurant group Giggling Squid has said it is no longer in discussions to attract external investment, after offers failed to meet the board’s expectations.
The 32-site strong group said it had received “considerable interest” since appointing GCA Altium to consider growth options earlier this year, but not at a level that the board felt reflected “the company’s track record to date and future prospects”.
Andy Laurillard, managing director and co-founder of Giggling Squid, said: “We have a fantastic business which continues to perform well. Whilst we had significant interest in Giggling Squid, the shareholders felt than none of the offers received were strong enough. We will revisit our options in due course.”
Giggling Squid, which was backed by the Business Growth Fund to the tune of £6.4m in 2015, has said its pipeline for new sites remains strong and it plans to open between six and 10 restaurants a year, as well as embarking on a new refurbishment programme.
The restaurants are becoming a familiar site amongst Britain’s market towns and commuter belts, but the chain has only crept inside the M25 reaching as far as Esher, Kingston upon Thames and Wimbledon.
The group has also today announced that chairman Simon Kossoff has decided to step down after four years in the role.
Laurillard added: “On behalf of the Board, I would also like to put on record my thanks to Simon Kossoff for his contribution to Giggling Squid during his tenure with the Company. His experience and wise counsel have been invaluable in assisting Giggling Squid to become the business it is today. He leaves with our very best wishes for his future endeavours.”
Kossoff said: “After almost four enjoyable years supporting the successful growth of the business, I felt this would be an appropriate time to step back and allow a new chair to guide the business on the next stage of its expansion.”
Giggling Squid’s turnover for the year ending 31 March 2018 was up 29% to £23.7m, with EBITDA before exceptional costs 54% up on the previous year at £3.28m. The group made a pre-tax loss in the period of £193,158.