Restaurant chain Loungers this morning announced its intention to list on the AIM as a publicly-traded company.
The move follows a period of rapid expansion for the group, which is now up to 146 sites in the UK and achieved sales of £121m last year.
Nick Collins, chief executive of Loungers, said: “It has long been the ambition of the founders and myself that Loungers becomes a listed entity. The listing will allow us to broaden the employee shareholder base and provide us with an appropriate capital structure to pursue our future growth ambitions.
“Loungers is the only growing all-day operator of scale within the UK hospitality sector. Our relaxed, casual, home from home proposition which combines coffee shop, pub and restaurant across our two complementary brands – Lounge and Cosy Club – resonates with today’s consumer, attracting broad demographic appeal in a diverse range of trading locations.”
Mr Collins said that the company had a “clear expansion strategy” to continue to roll out 25 new sites a year supported by a strong pipeline of sites and led by an experienced and committed management team.
“We believe our track record speaks for itself and look forward to the opportunity which lies ahead to deliver significant value for all shareholders,” he said.
The first Lounge was founded in Bristol in 2002 and after initially growing locally the owners expanded the business nationally. Last year its revenues grew 6% on a like-for-like basis, while EBITDA reached £16.6m.
Independent analysis by location planning consultants CACI has identified the potential for more than 400 Lounges and more than 100 Cosy Clubs in England and Wales.
Nick Backhouse, Adam Bellamy and Jill Little have each joined the board of Loungers as independent non-executive directors and bring extensive public market and consumer sector experience.