Bar group secures £16m funding deal to support continued expansion

Bar and restaurant chain, The Alchemist, has secured a £16m finance package from existing debt funders to support its continued growth across the UK.

The new capital from Santander will be invested into the continued innovation of the brand, rejuvenating existing sites and the acquisition of new locations.

The Alchemist, which opened its Birmingham operation in 2016 as part of the Grand Hotel refurbishment in Colmore Row, recently opened a purpose-built venue at MediaCityUK, together with a new regional site in Oxford. It has also confirmed openings in Nottingham, Bristol and Cardiff for the year ahead.

Established in 2010, The Alchemist has 12 venues across the UK and employs more than 700 people.

It is backed by Palatine Private Equity, which supported the chain’s buy out from Living Ventures in 2015.

Victoria Stewart, Finance Director at The Alchemist, said: “We’re thrilled to have received further funding from Santander – particularly in the current climate. While the sector certainly remains tough and competitive, we’re confident in our offering, our people and our vision.”

Chris Thomas, Director, Structured Finance, Financial Sponsors at Santander, added: “The Alchemist has shown itself to be a great concept that benefits from a strong management team and experienced, supportive investors. Following on from our previous Growth Capital support, Santander is delighted to continue working with the company in its next phase of growth.”

Kieran Lawton, Investment Director at Palatine, said: “Santander’s continuing support of The Alchemist is testament to the high quality business that the team are developing. The Alchemist continues to be one of the leading performers in its sector, and this additional financial support from Santander will allow the team to further develop the brand and concept over the next few years.”

Legal support to The Alchemist was provided by the Manchester office of Pinsent Masons, while Addleshaw Goddard acted for Santander.

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