1. Boparan buys Cinnamon Collection & Giraffe restaurants…
One of the busiest companies in 2016 was Boparan Restaurant Holdings (BRH), owned by millionaire entrepreneur Ranjit Singh Boparan. First came the acquisition of the three-strong Cinnamon Collection in January. Five months later, BRH announced it would invest more than £10m to expand the brand.
In the same month, BRH acquired Tesco's Giraffe restaurant business for an undisclosed sum. In 2013, the deal between Tesco and the 47-strong Giraffe brand was worth £50m. Tom Crowley, Giraffe's managing director, said: "This now provides us with the opportunity to really focus on developing the Giraffe business to its full potential throughout the UK and overseas."
2 …and saves 33 Ed's Easy Diners
In October, BRH acquired part of restaurant chain Ed's Easy Diner via Giraffe Concepts.
A total of 33 restaurants were bought, and the remaining 26 sites not included in the deal went into administration. The company was originally for sale for £90m; however, it was suggested that it was sold at a cut price via a pre-pack administration. The purchase saved around 700 jobs.
3. New World Trading Company sold for £50m
Living Ventures co-founder Jeremy Roberts said: "Tim was extremely proud of the business model we have created at Living Ventures and this transaction was the last deal we were working on together. It is so sad that he is not here to share it with me."
4. Drake & Morgan acquires Corney & Barrow Bars
July saw London bar and restaurant group Drake & Morgan buy Corney & Barrow Bars for an undisclosed sum. At the time, Corney & Barrow operated 10 sites under its own name, and one bar and restaurant, Devonshire Terrace, in Devonshire Square, London. Corney & Barrow was founded 230 years ago and became a collection of wine bars in 1983. Drake & Morgan expects to expand the brand to at least 25 sites by 2017.
5. Wasabi secures £25m funding deal
Japanese-style chain Wasabi received £20m from HSBC to open 20 new sites in the UK and New York. In addition, Wasabi was given £4m and a £1m overdraft to develop its 65,000 sq ft warehouse where food quality is assessed.
Wasabi was founded by Korean Dong Hyun Kim in 2003 and now operates 50 sites, 41 in the Capital, seven outside London and two in New York. Developments in London's Camden and New York Westfield WTC are in the pipeline.