Lawyers that helped chain secure £1.8m funding warn of legal hurdles

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 27:  In this photo illustration pound coins are stacked in front of a twenty pound note on November 27 2008 in Bristol, England. Many UK consumers are feeling the pinch as the financial crisis and economic downturn makes borrowing harder and more expensive and the recession starts to bite.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Lawyers that stepped in to secure £1.8m worth of financing for a budding restaurant chain have spoken of the pitfalls that operators face in securing the right funding.

Specialist corporate finance law firm Moore Blatch recently helped Rosa’s Thai Cafe, one of London’s fastest growing restaurant chains, gain new £1.8m banking facilities as part of its growth strategy.

The deal involved negotiating £1.8m of new capital from Santander and negotiating a successful exit strategy with its former bankers.

Jeremy Over, partner, corporate and commercial at Moore Blatch, said that concluding such agreements is rarely an easy process for restaurant chains.

“Unfortunately, what many businesses find is that changing bank or other capital provider can be exceptionally challenging, as most will hold you to contracts and terms and conditions that no longer meet your needs as you look to grow.

“Equally, they will try to prevent you from renegotiating the terms or make it difficult for you to move to a more understanding competitor. This is where expert legal advice and support can help as, contrary to what they might have you believe, many banking contracts are not ‘non-negotiable’.”

The investment will allow restaurant founders Alex and Saiphin Moore to grow the number of sites, which currently stands at six, to over 10, across London, including new restaurants in Victoria and Brixton, creating 100 new jobs.

Alex Moore, founder of Rosa’s Thai Café, said: “Moore Blatch has been instrumental in helping our business move on to its next phase of development.  Without being able to exit our existing financial agreements successfully, we would have found it difficult to get any of the funding that we needed to expand the restaurant chain.”

Rosa’s Thai Cafe started out as a street food stall in Truman Brewery’s Sunday UpMarket in Spitalfields in the East End of London and offers ‘fresh Thai food with a modern twist’. It has since grown to a six-strong group of London-based restaurants, including Soho, Westfield Stratford, Carnaby Street, Chelsea, Angel, Islington, and the original café in Spitalfields.

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