YFM Equity Partners invests £3m in healthy-eating fast-food chain

YFM Equity Partners (“YFM”), the specialist private equity fund manager has invested £3m into Friska Limited (Friska), a Bristol based chain of food-to-go restaurants offering ‘feel good food’ throughout the day. The funding will be used to support the roll out of the brand into new cities across the UK.

This investment was made by the British Smaller Companies Venture Capital Trusts alongside ongoing support from Santander.

Friska was founded in 2009 by Griff Holland and Ed Brown, trading from a single site in central Bristol and based on a founding principle of delivering ‘feel good food’ made from fresh, quality, and responsibly sourced ingredients, alongside high service standards and a desire to make a positive social impact through the way it does business.

The company now operates from a total of nine outlets in Bristol, Birmingham and Luton Airport. The new funding will be used to open more restaurants in UK regional cities, with the aim of doubling store numbers over the next three years.

As part of the deal, Steve Hill, former CEO of wagamama and current Non-Executive Chairman of Pho, will join as Non-Executive Chairman.

Charlie Robinson, Investment Director at YFM, commented:

“We are thrilled to be supporting Griff and Ed on the next stage of their journey with Friska. They have built a fantastic brand with a high quality breakfast and lunch food offering which customers love. We see significant opportunity for the business to expand into new cities to bring the Friska brand to a new audience”

Griff Holland, Co-Founder of Friska, added:

“Over the past seven years, we have been honing our menu, the way our stores look and feel, our brand and of course our operating systems. We feel confident that now is the right time to bring our feel good food (and coffee) to cities around the UK and working with YFM and Steve will allow us to do this faster and better, just like our food.”

YFM’s legal advice was provided by Jon Gill and Nina Searle of TLT LLP with financial due diligence carried out by Dave Armstrong and Jack Leggett from Francis, and organisational due diligence by Anna Cornwallis from Stratton HR. Tim Spooner and Howard Thompson from KPMG acted as lead financial advisers to Friska with support from Philip Edmonds and Charles Van Der Lande from Roxburgh Milkins.

By 24 Jul 2017