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BrightReasons prepares for flotation

BRIGHTREASONS, the privately owned restaurant group controlled by Michael Guthrie, has begun preparations for a stock market flotation with the release of its annual accounts for 1993.

During the year to 25 September 1993, the group, which operates three high street restaurant brands – Pizzaland, Bella Pasta and Pizza Piazza – quadrupledits operating profit from £820,000 to £3.5m. Sales grew from £47m to £63.3m.

In the glossy annual statement Mr Guthrie, chairman of BrightReasons, said the February 1993 acquisition of Rank Restaurants only partly contributed to the growth. He said there was a strong, market-led recovery in the company’s original operations.

As 85% of BrightReasons is owned by three venture capital funds, it is likely that in the near future the backers will want to cash in their investment. A stock market flotation later this year could value the company between £70m and £100m.

Since its launch in 1991, BrightReasons has aimed to build national chains of restaurants in the mid-spend market. Last year it continued this strategy with further expansion of all three brands.

Mr Guthrie said this expansion had been profitable “because it brought the company a sufficient critical mass to enable it to make more efficient use of central resources”. In particular, there was more effort made in marketing the new or revitalised brands bought from Rank.

lYates Brothers Wine Lodges, the wine bars group founded 110 years ago, is moving up from the unofficial 535.2 market to a full stock market listing next month.

It has 46 bars around the country, and plans to use the flotation to raise money for another 50 or so by the end of the decade.

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