Success Stories

Middle Eastern Restaurant Purchase
Our Clients needed funding to assist their purchase of a well-known Middle Eastern restaurant in Mayfair. This business was hugely sought after; it had been trading for over 30 years and had been in the continuous ownership of a single family for all of this time. The consideration was £1.5M and our Clients were looking for an advance of £650,000 to assist with the acquisition. Discretion was an important aspect of this transaction and given that 90% of central London restaurant sales are off-market, confidentially for all parties is key in our work. Once we had received the Business Valuation Report and had been assured by the findings, we were able to grant the requested loan over 36 months. The business has grown from taking £28,000 per week to circa £60,000 per week.

Café Business Expansion
An experienced Italian cafe owner in south west London was looking to expand his group. He owned two successful cafes close to tube stations north of the river but no funder would grant the required 100% of purchase monies for the next unit. Our Client had identified a profitable leasehold Gastro Pub not far away which he knew he could develop. We employed the professional services of Davis Coffer Lyons to inspect all four businesses and the reports proved excellent. We decided to advance the entire sum repayable over 36 months taking a first charge on the four leases.

Chinese Restaurant Portolio
Our prospective Client was a leading player in London’s Chinatown with a portfolio numbering 22 bars and restaurants. He wanted to refinance two of businesses and also to diversify into Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine. He required a reliable no frills funding source to accommodate his continuous expansion programme plus provision of essential cash fluidity for his operations. We have been able to assist with several repayment loan facilities over the past two years and every advance has been secured solely on the leases of his various restaurants.

Purchase of a West End Bar & Grill
An experienced operating trio, with a track record of successful management in steak houses in central London approached First Merchant to back them. This team needed 100% finance in order to acquire the 21 year lease of a Bar and Grill restaurant which had been trading well for two years. Owing to the strong experience of the team and the excellent location of the Restaurant. First Merchant was able to back the application in full.

New Soho Cocktail Bar-Club
The owner of several well-known London bar/restaurants wanted to expand by opening a new venue in Soho but securing a loan was virtually impossible from traditional routes. Our client did not want to attract the public gaze by raising finance through the myriad of new-style finance sources such as private equity or crowdfunders, so approached us for assistance. Our Valuers’ investigation of the existing venues plus an in-depth financial evaluation of the proposed new site proved successful. We granted our client a facility of £800,000 repayable over 36 months to enable him to proceed with his expansion plans.

French Brasserie Refinance
The owners of this long-established and extremely popular venue approached us for a loan of £350,000 after their bank declined to grant a facility simply because it was a leasehold restaurant. Our clients required the loan to obtain a new lease on the premises and buy out a long-term sleeping partner. The Landlord required a security deposit of £300,000 which represented one year’s rent in order to grant them the exceptionally valuable new 20 year lease. We carried out an in depth investigation of the business and found it to be a very well-run operation capable of servicing the requested loan. Our board sanctioned a Repayment Loan of £300,000 over 60 months to accommodate the Clients’ requirements.

Mediterranean Cuisine Restaurant Group
Our client operates six very successful top-end Mediterranean cuisine restaurants prominently located in central London. The operator wanted to expand his portfolio from six to ten outlets and required funding to acquire further premises for conversion to his growing brand. Several high-profile venture capital firms offered to back him asking for an equity stake of between 30% and 40%. Our client decided that our proposed debt finance package offered the most flexible way forward for expansion at this stage with zero interference in the overall operation of his group and the crucially important retention of 100% ownership of the business!