Acquisition for restaurant discount club

A RESTAURANT discount group with private equity backing has expanded with the acquisition of a subscription-based dining membership club.

Yorkshire-based The Dining Club Group, backed by Bridgepoint Development Capital, has bought Blackpool-based Hi-Life Diners Club from Hi-Life Group through its subsidiary company State Bidco.

Matt Turner, chief executive of The Dining Club Group who took home the Consumer Products accolade at this week’s North of England EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards,  said: “Discounted dining is part of a growing benefits sector.  With our support, we are confident that Hi-Life can continue to broaden its geographical footprint and grow its membership and restaurant numbers.”

James Tolland, managing director of Hi-Life, who will be continuing in his current role, added: “We are delighted to join with The Dining Club Group to help us further promote and grow the Hi-Life brand.”

Hi-Life provides 2 for 1 dining offers at more than 4,000 restaurants across the UK and Ireland to consumers and business customers in return for an annual membership fee.

Affiliated restaurants include those owned by world renowned chefs such as Marco Pierre White and Cyrus Tobiwala, as well as leading high street chains and local independent restaurants.

The Dining Club Group was incorporated in 2015 to acquire tastecard and the Gourmet Society, dining clubs which collectively offer discounts to members at over 10,000 restaurants across the UK in return for an annual membership fee.

Tastecard was established in 2005 and has more than three million members, while the Gourmet Society was launched in 2003 and has more than one million members.

Hi-Life was advised by Carson McDowell (Dawn McKnight and Rachel Craig) and Grant Thornton (Usman Malik and Joe Pollard).

The Dining Club Group was advised by DSW (Rob McCarthy and Jeff Gardner); Brabners (Andrew Millar, Simon Lewis and James Petts); and CMS Cameron McKenna (Caroline Hobson and Christine Graham).