Corbin and King secure £21m investment from private equity firm Graphite for ambitious London openings

26 April 2012 by
Corbin and King secure £21m investment from private equity firm Graphite for ambitious London openings

Private equity firm Graphite Capital is investing £21m in Rex Restaurant Associates, the Chris Corbin and Jeremy King business featuring high-end London brasseries and cafés the Wolseley and the Delaunay in its portfolio.

The funding from Graphite will be used for three new ambitious projects in the capital, including a new five-star boutique hotel.

Brasserie Zedel, an all-day Parisian brasserie with an American bar and a live music and cabaret venue, is planned for June. The 1,860sq m restaurant will open on the site of the Atlantic Bar and Grill in the Crown Estate's Quadrant regeneration development just off Piccadilly Circus.

September will see the opening of another brasserie on the highly sought-after site of the former Oriel café and restaurant on Sloane Square.

From 2014, Rex will operate the Beaumont, a new hotel on Balderton Street in Mayfair that is currently being developed in conjunction with the Grosvenor Estate.

Corbin and King have been the driving force behind some of London's best-loved restaurants for more than 20 years including Le Caprice, the Ivy and J Sheekey.

They set up Rex in 2003, when they launched the all-day dining European Grand Café concept in London with the Wolseley restaurant on Piccadilly, achieving one of the highest turnovers of any individual restaurant in the UK.

The Delaunay opened last December on the corner of Aldwych and Drury Lane. A hit with the critics, it has also been the most successful of Corbin and King's openings to date in terms of revenue.

Graphite senior partner Andy Gray said: "With a highly experienced and respected management team, in a sector where we have achieved considerable success, Rex perfectly meets Graphite's key investment criteria.

"Arguably the best restaurateurs of their generation, Corbin and King have particularly impressed us with their visionary approach and their attention to detail."

Graphite's previous investments in the leisure sector include Japanese-themed restaurant chain Wagamama, the Groucho Club, and leisure and fitness club The Third Space.

Rex chief executive officer Jeremy King said: "We are delighted to receive the support of Graphite, whose knowledge and experience of the leisure and property sectors will be invaluable to Rex, as we embark on the next exciting phase of our development."

Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, Rex Restaurant Associates >>

Wolseley restaurant sales top £10m >>

Corbin & King to open Mayfair hotel >>

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

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