New World Trading Company (NWTC), the pub and restaurant business founded by Jeremy Roberts and the late Tim Bacon, has been sold for £50m to private equity firm Graphite Capital.
Bacon and Roberts, owners of the Living Ventures Group, founded NWTC in 2011 and it now operates 14 pubs and restaurants across the country under five sub brands: the Botanist, the Oast House, Smugglers Cove, the Trading House and the Club House.
NWTC, which employs 900 people, has expanded rapidly over the past year, launching seven sites in the past 15 months. More are set to open in Sheffield, York and Reading.
Graphite initiated the acquisition process with an off-market bid for NWTC. The principal vendors were Living Ventures, Hill Capital and LDC, which held a minority stake in the business.
Chief executive Chris Hill and his senior management team will continue to run the company.
The news comes just over a month since NWTC's former chairman, Tim Bacon, lost a long fight with cancer aged 52.
Living Ventures co-founder and chief executive Jeremy Roberts said: "It is particularly bitter sweet for me personally to be announcing this news today. Tim was extremely proud of the business model we have created at Living Ventures and this transaction was the last deal we were working on together. It is so sad that he is not here to share it with me. But I know he would be delighted with the achievement and I know he was pleased with the home that NWTC is going to. Graphite have acquired a great business and, in Chris Hill, have secured the services of one of the brightest of our prodigies."
Chris Hill commented: "We are delighted to be working with Graphite. Their partnership approach was attractive to us and their experience in supporting roll-outs in the pub and restaurant sector will be invaluable in the coming years. They share our vision for the future of the business and our enthusiasm for pushing out the traditional boundaries of the pub industry."
Graphite partner Omar Kayat added: "NWTC has rapidly established itself as one of the most innovative and respected pub and restaurant operators in the market. The company's multi-branded approach to all day-dining combined with live entertainment in the evening has been hugely successful nationwide. We look forward to helping Chris and his team in their continued expansion across the UK."
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