Living Ventures sell the brand behind The Oast House and The Botanist for £50m

Private equity firm Graphite Capital, has acquired the fast-growing pub and restaurant business, New World Trading Company in a £50 million transaction.

Founded by the owners of Living Ventures Group, the late Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts in 2011, NWTC operates 14 pub/restaurants nationally under five sub-brands – The Botanist, The Oast House, Smugglers Cove, The Trading House and The Club House.

Set up in 1999 by Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, the Living Ventures Group operate some of the most exciting brands in the UK restaurants and bar market including Gusto, The Alchemist, Red Door, Australasia, Artisan and Manchester House.

Chief executive Chris Hill and his senior management team will continue to run the company.

NWTC’s former chairman, Tim Bacon died recently after a long fight with cancer. Living Ventures co-founder and chief executive Jeremy Roberts said:

“It is particularly bitter sweet for me personally to be announcing this news today. Tim was extremely proud of the business model we have created at Living Ventures and this transaction was the last deal we were working on together. It is so sad that he is not here to share it with me. But I know he would be delighted with the achievement and I know he was pleased with the home that NWTC is going to. Graphite have acquired a great business and, in Chris Hill, have secured the services of one of the brightest of our prodigies.”

‘We are delighted to be working with Graphite,” said Chris Hill. “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.”

NWTC has won numerous industry awards. In March this year, the company won the Publican awards for Best Pub Employer and Best Managed Pub Company. The company currently employs more than 900 people across the country from Glasgow to London.

Graphite has a long and successful track record of investing in the pub and restaurant sectors. It grew Wagamama from two units to more than 100 around the world, generating a return of over 10 times its original investment on the sale of the business in 2005. It is currently an investor in a number of other restaurant groups including Hawksmoor.


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