Pho sold to new investment firm with industry legend at the helm

Pho 3

Former Yo! Sushi boss Robin Rowland will chair Vietnamese chain Pho after the private equity firm he is part of acquired a “significant majority stake” in the business.

The investment has been made by TriSpan’s dedicated restaurant fund ‘Rising Stars’, which has previously bought into Rosa’s Thai Café and Thunderbird Fried Chicken. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Pho’s founders and management have maintained an interest in the company with Patrick Marrinan, the former finance director, leading the group as managing director in its next phase of growth.

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Stephen and Juliette Wall, founders of Pho, will remain in executive roles to help support the growth plan, alongside director of operations, Ewan McDonald, and marketing director, Libby Andrews.

Mr Rowland, who is European operating partner at TriSpan, will chair the board with Steve Hill, current chairman, remaining on the board as a non-executive director.

The first Pho restaurant opened in 2005 in Clerkenwell and expanded to become the leading casual Vietnamese group in the UK, operating 30 restaurants and three delivery-only kitchens.

Pho is known for its fresh and healthy Vietnamese food, cooked daily in each restaurant. The group has plans to open in Lincoln – which was signed pre-Covid – later this summer, and it is actively reviewing other expansion opportunities as the country emerges from the pandemic.

Mr Rowland said: “I am looking forward to working alongside Patrick, the founders, Pho’s proven management team and strong board to continue the evolution of this ‘honest-to-its-roots’ brand, delivering authentic, fresh and exciting Vietnamese cuisine.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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