Eight years after setting up on his own, restaurateur and chef Mark Hix, renowned for his focus on straightforward interpretation of British cooking, has entered a joint venture agreement with hospitality business WSH.
The new deal will enable Hix to expand his portfolio of restaurants beyond its current collection of nine outlets.
He said: "I want to continue to grow our restaurant portfolio and needed to find a new equity partner who is able to provide the necessary resources and capital to further develop.
"I have worked with WSH and BaxterStorey for some years now as a consultant helping them with development and sourcing interesting British produce. It was very natural to extend that relationship and become equity partners."
Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive of WSH, added: "I have got to know Mark very well over the years and we are huge fans of his style of cooking. I know how keen Mark is to develop his business and we are well placed to help him achieve his goals."
Named Chef of the Year at the 2010 Catey Awards, Hix is renowned for securing the best ingredients with an exemplary provenance and for creating restaurants with a strong nod towards the arts, with works from the like of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin liberally sprinkled throughout his restaurants.
He followed the opening of his first restaurant with Hix at Browns hotel, Hix Soho and the chicken and steak restaurants, Tramshead in Shoreditch and Hixter Bankside.
In addition to Mark's Bar, which operates in the basement of Hix Soho and Hixter Bankside, the first stand-alone Mark's Bar launched at the Old Vic theatre in October 2015. In February this year, Hix teamed up with artist Damien Hirst to open Pharmacy 2 at the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall.
Outside of London in his native Dorset, Hix has opened Hix Oyster & Fish House and Hix Townhouse, a boutique hotel, both in Lyme Regis.
In 2014, Mark Hix Restaurants forecast that its annual turnover would be £14m, with a pre-tax profit of £1.84m. At the time, Tramshead was the group's best performing restaurant with a net weekly turnover of £82,000.
WSH is a holding company for a number of the hospitality brands, including BaxterStorey, Caterlink, Holroyd Howe, Benugo, Searcys and Portico.
Hix is a prolific writer: his award-winning books on British cuisine include Hix Oyster & Chop House, Mark Hix on Baking and British Regional Food.
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