The Caterer

Las Iguanas founder leaves to pursue new interests

05 August 2009 by
Las Iguanas founder leaves to pursue new interests

Las Iguanas founder and director Ajith Jaya Wickrema has left the Latin American-themed restaurant chain after nearly two decades at its helm.

Wickrema, who founded the business together with managing director Eren Ali in 1991, has left to pursue other opportunities.

He retains an investment in the company and said he is confident the "strong management team" will continue to develop and grow Las Iguanas.

Ali, who is the 2009 Group Restaurateur Catey winner, will continue to run the business, with Wagamama chairman Ian Neill remaining non-executive chairman.

Las Iguanas opened its first site in Bristol in 1991 and after expanding throughout the West Country, the chain established itself across the UK with sites across London, in Liverpool, Leeds, Leicester, Brighton, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.

Backed by private equity firm Bowmark Capital, the group now runs 23 restaurants and has plans to grow its portfolio to more than 100 sites.

Wagamama's Neill takes on role with Las Iguanas >>

Las Iguanas restaurant chain owner under new ownership >>

By Kerstin KÁ¼hn

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