Brasserie Bar Co, the group behind Brasserie Blanc and the White Brasserie Company, has boosted its West End and City of London presence after buying eight Chez Gerard sites in the capital.
The package of sites includes the Chez Gerard in Covent Garden Opera Terrace. The company expects to invest a further £4m to transform the sites into Brasserie Blancs through a rolling programme which is expected to be completed during 2012.
Brasserie Bar Co recently raised £20m of new capital from its private equity backer, Core Capital. The new acquisitions give the business a significant West End and City of London presence.
With the addition of these new sites, the estate will grow to a total of 19 outlets, including nine existing Brasserie Blancs and two White Brasserie pubs. The restaurants joining the group are located at Bishopsgate, Chancery Lane, Charlotte Street, Covent Garden, St Pauls, Southbank, and the Tower of London.
Mark Derry, chief executive, of Brasserie Bar Co, said: "We are delighted to have secured these prime locations for Brasserie Blanc which will give us significant traction in central London and progresses Raymond Blanc's dream of bringing quality French food to the high street. We have an exceptional team, led by John Lederer, which is ready to go. Our task will be to transform these sites to the quality our customers have come to expect from the Brasserie Blanc brand.
"Our strategy, when we raised £20m of new equity in September, was to expand our brasserie businesses, particularly in London and the South-east. This acquisition gives us eight new Brasserie Blancs and increases the number of covers we serve to over 2000."
The new restaurants will trade in their current format over the Christmas period. Brasserie Bar Co will grow to a total of 40 outlets by 2016.
By Neil Gerrard
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