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La Tasca to float on AIM

10 February 2005 by

Spanish tapas chain La Tasca will float on the Alternative Investment Market later this month for £54m.

Funds achieved from the listing will be used to reduce the company's debt to £17m and make borrowing cheaper.

Chief executive James Horler said La Tasca was a proven and successful restaurant concept. "We currently have only one restaurant in the South-west, one in Wales and one in Scotland, so there's room for growth."

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Flotation on the menu
The company intends to continue expanding the chain at a rate of about 10 stores a year in the UK with cash generated by the business. Horler added that sister brand La Viña, which launched last year in Hale, Cheshire, and Liverpool, was set to add further sites in the next year with at least one new restaurant in the North. La Tasca, which was founded in 1993, has grown rapidly from 16 to 45 units since a takeover by Penta Capital in 2001. The company has two restaurants in the USA and a third will open later this year, in Baltimore. Penta Capital is retaining a 23% stake in the company, which Horler described as a huge vote of confidence. Share dealings will start on 16 February. by Chris Druce Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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