Various Eateries seeks AIM admission to capitalise on COVID aftermath

Various Eateries seeks AIM admission to capitalise on COVID aftermath

Various Eateries, the group which operates restaurants in the UK such as Coppa Club and Tavolino, announced on Thursday that it plans to seek admission to trading on the AIM – the alternative investment market of the London Stock Exchange.

The company said that it expected the entire share capital of the company to be admitted to trading between the end of September and the start of October 2020. It added that once this occurs, it hopes to raise £25 million by way of a placing of its Ordinary Shares on Admission.

The Various Eateries statement then went on to lay out what it viewed as the company’s strengths. The first of which, its leadership, is made up of Founder, Hugh Osmond; Chairman, Andy Bassadone; CEO, Yishay Malkov; CFO, Oli Williams; and Chef Director, Matt Fanthorpe. Between them, the leadership team have experience leading Pizza Express, My Kinda Town, Strada, Côte Bistro, Bill’s, The Ivy, Gordon Ramsay, Itsu, McDonald’s and Jamie’s Italian.

Its second strength, its statement claims, is its established core brands – Coppa Club and Tavolino – which operate from ten sites, five of which are in London.

Third, it lauds exciting growth opportunities, with the company Directors stating that a combination of reduced competition and increased site availability will give the Group an exciting pipeline of acquisition opportunities.

The chance to grow the Coppa Club and Tavolino brands will be contingent on the company being admitted to the AIM, which will give it greater access to the funds necessary to realise its future acquisitions and working capital ambitions.

Various Eateries is raring to go

Speaking on the situation as it stands, and the company’s eagerness to take the step onto the AIM, Founder Hugh Osmond commented:

“I believe that Covid-19 is the biggest event to hit the UK economy outside of war-time. Whilst I deplore the terrible effect it has had on our industry, we are confident that there will be major opportunities for a well funded group with strong management to build a fantastic business in the aftermath of Covid. We are also confident that we have one of the most experienced teams ever assembled in the hospitality sector, 2020s-appropriate brands, and an established platform business and I am firmly of the view that the opportunity is as big as it was in the early 1990s when I jointly led the acquisition of PizzaExpress.”

“The funds raised will be principally used to take advantage of the opportunities and accelerate growth. Our senior team has an established track record of acquiring, converting and opening sites and, with, what we perceive to be, the availability of premium sites at attractive rents, I believe the prospects for Coppa Club and Tavolino are exciting.”

“There are also a number of well-known brands out there that are struggling to navigate the pandemic and various other industry pressures. Should the right opportunities present themselves, we would consider supplementing our organic growth through acquisition, offering distressed brands a more sustainable future as part of the Group.”

Mr Osmond added that the company’s brands are designed to cater to changing consumer preferences, with Coppa Club providing all-day flexible spaces and outdoor areas, as well as separate bar, lounge and restaurant areas. Similarly, Tavolino is described as ‘a modern all-day Italian bistro’, led by a team who have led some of the UK’s most well-known sit-down restaurants of the last two decades.