Restaurateur Philip Kaye has bought a 13.5% stake in Gourmet Holdings, the former coffee bar operator Madisons Coffee.
Kaye, one of the UK's richest restaurateurs and the driving force behind Prezzo and Ask Central, had bought 10.5 million shares, said the company.
But Gourmet Holdings insisted the transaction was not an indication that Kaye is about to get involved at a day-to-day level with the company.
This is despite the fact that Kaye's former colleague Andrew Guy, who used to head City Centre Restaurants, was appointed by Gourmet Holdings in March to look for companies to buy.
The company changed its name to reflect the fact it has now sold its coffee bars to concentrate on restaurants, including its Richoux chain. It is in talks to buy pub-restaurant chain Bel and the Dragon.
The share purchase by Kaye was part of a £2.5m share placing by the company to fund further expansion and acquisitions.
Chief executive Gareth Lloyd-Jones said: "As a result of this placing, [we] have now added valuable industry experience to our shareholder base."
by Nic Paton
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