Ex-YO! boss jumps on board restaurant chain after private equity deal

Restaurant group Rosa’s Thai Cafe has secured a significant injection of private capital and the services of ex-YO! Sushi boss Robin Rowland in a joint move that places it on a new growth path.

The company, which is one of the UK’s fastest-growing restaurant groups, has sold a majority stake in the business to TriSpan, a global private equity firm that invests in restaurant operators through its Rising Stars platform.

Rosa’s managing director, Gavin Adair, will continue to lead the business moving forward with support from Mr Rowland, the former YO! boss and current European operating partner of TriSpan, who joins the board as non-executive chairman.

Rosa’s founders Alex and Saiphin Moore will remain involved in the business, respectively focusing on the group’s culture and innovation and driving food quality.

A significant number of employees at every level within the group will have their stock options partially realised and will reinvest with TriSpan.

TriSpan has invested in more than 20 restaurant groups globally although Rosa’s Thai Cafe represents its first foray into Europe.

The Rosa’s brand was born from co-founder Saiphin’s passion for authentic Thai food. The first site opened in 2008 and currently trades from 13 premises. It was recently ranked as one of the top three fastest-growing restaurant chains in the MCA/AlixPartners Growth Company Index 2017, increasing sales over 45% per annum in the last two years.

Alex Moore, co-founder of Rosa’s Thai Café, said: “We set up Rosa’s Thai Cafe to be a progressive, responsive and thoughtful group of restaurants and we’re really proud that has stood us in such good stead. This is an exciting new partnership for the group and since joining last year Gavin has developed excellent strategies to support our future aspirations.

“Saiphin will remain a constant influence in the kitchens, and I look forward to focusing on maintaining the ethos and fairness that are the foundations of the business.”

Mr Rowland added: “I am delighted that the founders will remain involved with this terrific growth business, and I look forward to partnering with Gavin Adair and the rest of the brilliant management team for the next chapter of Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s growth.”

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