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Ibérica in private equity talks as it plans to triple in size

25 October 2016 by
Ibérica in private equity talks as it plans to triple in size

Ibérica is in talks with private equity firms to raise the funds it needs for a threefold expansion in size.

The Spanish restaurant group will hit 10 sites by the end of 2017, with Edinburgh opening in June, and a lease on a site in London's Covent Garden close to being signed.

Marcos Fernandez Pardo (pictured) hopes to build Ibérica into a 30-strong group and is leading negotiations, having stepped up to the role of chief executive, and has appointed former Gaucho development director Alex Rojas as managing director.

Fernandez Pardo said that further sites had been identified in Liverpool, Brighton, and Bristol (where terms have been agreed) and that he was also looking at Bath, Oxford, Cambridge and Guildford.

He added: "We're building a roadmap. Ibérica should be opening four to five sites a year from 2018.

"We're speaking to five equity houses with a view to coming up with an expansion plan that takes us from 10 to 30 sites."

Ibérica is also in talks with two Spanish hotel groups - NH and Iberostar - to open in hotels internationally. "NH is now undergoing a massive expansion in China, in which we could be involved," Fernandez Pardo added.

The news comes as Ibérica has revamped its menu to widen its appeal and is in the process of introducing Josper grills into all its restaurants to simplify the kitchen operation.

Group head chef César García has developed a new pinchos and tapas bar menu, with prices starting at £1 for a ham croquette or bollu preñau (a bun filled with chorizo) and including a selection of artisan cheese and cured meat alongside keenly priced gourmet sandwiches such as topside veal with roasted vegetable purée (£6).

Fernandez Pardo said: "The offers have changed the way of consuming in our restaurant. We've increased the range of price. The pressure of Brexit means people will continue to eat out but they'll be more choosy about where. Dealing with the uncertainty is very difficult."

The Caterer interview: Marcos Fernandez Pardo >>

Ibérica plans two sites to follow Leeds opening in 2016 >>

Michelin-starred chefs Quique Dacosta and Nacho Manzano launch series of Ibérica dinners >>

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