Former Leon chief joins expansion-hungry chain after it secures £2.5m in private equity capital

The Naked Deli, a Newcastle-based healthy eating chain, is poised to expand its operations after securing a bumper injection of funds.

The health-conscious and clean-eating dining experience operator has received £2.5m worth of investment from the Foresight Group, a private equity firm based in London.

The company will use the investment from Foresight to bolster systems and infrastructure, and to continue the roll-out of additional sites around the UK.

As part of Foresight’s investment, The Naked Deli’s team has been boosted by the appointment of John Upton as chairman. He joins from Leon, where he was managing director and, prior to that was a member of the senior team at McDonald’s UK. Upton adds significant sector and roll-out expertise and experience.

Chris Jones, CEO of The Naked Deli, commented: “We are excited to be working closely with Foresight who have been extremely supportive of our vision to bring healthy and nutritious food to the wider market. We have had an amazing journey so far in growing our brand organically throughout the North East and look forward to our next stage of growth, in scaling The Naked Deli throughout the UK.”

The Naked Deli marks the 9th deal for Foresight’s private equity team this year.

John Cordrey, investment manager at the Foresight Group, added: “The Naked Deli represents an opportunity to back a strong brand with a high-quality offering, operating in the growing, healthy eating sector. Foresight will be supporting the rollout of additional sites across the UK. We look forward to working with the management team and pursuing the opportunities that exist for the Company.”

The Naked Deli, which was launched in 2014, operates a number of sites in Newcastle, offers a range of gluten and dairy-free, vegan and paleo dishes. The first site opened in Heaton and reached full capacity within a week due to a social media campaign.

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