Ma Potter's founder John Gater plans to extend the fledgling Coal brand into a chain after selling his 16-strong restaurant group to Café Rouge owner Tragus last week for £14.15m.
Caterer understands Gater is in the process of exchanging contracts with Tragus to take back control of the Coal brand, which was launched in Cardiff last September as part of the Ma Potter's group, targeting 20- to 30-year-olds.
The proposed deal will see Gater take control of the existing Coal site in Wimbledon, south-west London. Tragus is retaining the Cardiff site, which will be converted to one of its brands.
Tragus plans to convert the majority of acquired sites to its Café Rouge and Bella Italia brands, but said it would keep some Ma Potter's, possibly adding it as a fourth concept alongside Spanish-tapas chain Ortega.
By Chris Druce
E-mail your comments to Chris Druce](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Ma Potter founder see a future in coal) here.