London restaurant and cocktail bar group Hawksmoor is set to sell a minority stake to Graphite Capital, the private equity firm behind the Groucho Club.
Investors in Hawksmoor, which has four restaurants in the capital with a fifth in the pipeline, are in exclusive talks with Graphite, the former owner of the Wagamama noodle chain, reported the Independent.
Hawksmoor founders Will Beckett and Huw Gott (pictured) opened their first site in 2010. The four-strong group includes restaurants in Air Street, Basinghall Street (Guildhall), Langley Street (Seven Dials) and Commercial Street (Spitalfields).
The pair announced last week that a fifth Hawksmoor, to be called Foxlow, will open on St John Street, Clerkenwell, in November.
Hawksmoor operator Underdog Restaurants nearly tripled pre-tax profits to £1.2m during the 12 months to December 2011, according to its latest accounts. Turnover leapt from £3.7m to £10.6m over the same period.
Last year, Graphite invested £21m in Rex Restaurant Associates, the group led by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King that includes the Wolseley, the Delaunay and Brasserie Zedel.