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Tortilla gets £3.5m backing to expand as it reveals plans for new sites

19 December 2011 by
Tortilla gets £3.5m backing to expand as it reveals plans for new sites

Mexican casual-dining chain Tortilla has raised £3.5m from private-equity investors, as it revealed it was to open its eighth site in London, with a ninth in the pipeline.

Tortilla raised £3.5m from Quilvest, which will be used to grow the team and expand the London-based chain. Quilvest has previously backed firms such as Yo! Sushi, and Tortilla predicted its involvement would result in substantial growth over the next five years.

As part of the deal, Quilvest partner Axelle Strain will join the board of directors, while Paul Campbell, formerly chief executive of Clapham House (Gourmet Burger Kitchen), whose Hill Capital Partners fund remains an investor in Tortilla, is a non-executive director.

Paul Campbell said: "Brandon has created a wonderful business which has consequently attracted investors of the highest calibre. With this investment, Tortilla will reinforce its position as the stand-out offer in the UK's fast-growing Mexican grill market."

Axelle Strain commented: "Quilvest has significant experience in the UK and global casual-dining segment, particularly through our work with Yo! Sushi. Tortilla is a fast-growing and ambitious brand, operating in a dynamic market and I am delighted to support the team at such an exciting time in the company's development."

The news came as Tortilla founder and managing director Brandon Stephens announced that the company had signed a deal for a location in Wimbledon, set to be the group's eighth opening in the capital, and has entered into legal discussions for a ninth site.

Stephens said: "We're very pleased to be partnering with Quilvest, who have a proven track record in the casual-dining space and are a great team with significant resources, to grow Tortilla into the leading fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain in the UK. And we're thrilled to be launching our Wimbledon store. It's a busy area with a good balance of local offices and a vibrant evening scene. The restaurant will look absolutely beautiful and customers should expect the same great offering."

The first Tortilla restaurant opened in Islington in October 2007 followed a year later by the Southwark site. There are now Tortilla restaurants at Canary Wharf, Oxford Circus and Leadenhall Market.

Tortilla opening fifth restaurant next month >>

Excellent time to invest, says former GBK boss >>

Brandon Stephens - My Life in Hospitality >>

By Neil Gerrard

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