Celeb Chef Gordon Ramsay Inks PE Deal to Expand Across America

July 20, 2019 | Private Equity
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Partner Lion Capital will invest $100 million to roll out 100 new US locations by 2024

Celeb Chef Gordon Ramsay is ready to open new restaurants.

“I look at the lines outside the door,” said Ramsay, referring to his highly successful fish-and-chips restaurants at Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Between them, the two outlets have sold more than 300,000 fish and chip dishes.

Ramsay’s steak restaurants at Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Baltimore are also successful.

The key to ramp up expansion was to take on a partner, Ramsay decided a year ago.

A [50:50] deal with Lion Capital

Private equity investors Lion Capital, which had previous experience with food chains, came on board. Ramsay and Lion Capital own 50% each of Gordon Ramsay North America, the vehicle that will open 100 new restaurants across the US by 2024. Lion Capital will spend $100 million on this expansion blitz.

“My goal, right now, is to establish one of the most exciting food brands in America,” Ramsay says. His background should help – he has a television deal with Fox for shows such as MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef Jr. as well as 24 Hours to Hell and Back – which mainly generated his income of $62 million last year.

He already runs 15 restaurants in London that are not covered in the Lion deal.

Celeb Chef Gordon Ramsay Spreads His Bets

Ramsay is unwilling to take on too much risk by expanding hugely through one type of restaurant. He’s accordingly hedged his bets by launching a “multi-layered brand.”

That means existing concepts such as Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips. Following these would be  Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza and Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen.

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