Graphite Capital acquires pub restaurant business New World Trading Company for GBP50m

Private equity firm Graphite Capital has acquired New World Trading Company (NWTC), a pub and restaurant business headquartered in Knutsford, Cheshire, from private equity firm LDC in a GBP50 million transaction.

LDC originally invested GBP2.7m for a minority stake in NWTC in 2013 through the Hill Capital Food & Beverage Fund, which was set up to back early stage food and drink concepts. The sale has generated a 6.1x money multiple and IRR of 80 per cent for LDC.

NWTC opened its first pub in 2011 and now operates 14 pubs/restaurants nationally under five sub brands: The Botanist, The Oast House, Smugglers Cove, The Trading House and The Club House. All of NWTC’s outlets offer an exceptional range of traditional cask and craft beers, innovative cocktails, an all-day menu of homemade food including the celebrated ‘hanging kebab’, with live music featuring every evening.
 
NWTC’s talented management team and its distinctive consumer proposition have been recognised in numerous industry awards. In March this year, the company won the Publican awards for Best Pub Employer and Best Managed Pub Company.
 
NWTC is expanding rapidly, with seven units opened in the past 15 months and four more planned to open in the next year. The company currently employs more than 900 people.
 
Chief executive Chris Hill and his senior management team have reinvested a significant proportion of their sale proceeds as part of the transaction and will continue to run the company. 
 
Graphite initiated the acquisition process with an off-market bid for NWTC. The principal vendors were Living Ventures Group, a multi-brand pubs and restaurant group which develops businesses from an early stage, Hill Capital and LDC, which held a minority stake in the business. 
 
Hill says: “We are delighted to be working with Graphite. Their partnership approach was attractive to us and their experience in supporting roll-outs in the pub and restaurant sector will be invaluable in the coming years. They share our vision for the future of the business and our enthusiasm for pushing out the traditional boundaries of the pub industry.”
 
Omar Kayat, partner at Graphite Capital, says: “NWTC has rapidly established itself as one of the most innovative and respected pub and restaurant operators in the market. The company’s multi-branded approach to all day-dining combined with live entertainment in the evening has been hugely successful nationwide. We look forward to helping Chris and his team in their continued expansion across the UK.”