What you need to know
Be At One, the UK’s leading specialist cocktail bar group, has completed a £20m refinancing. The deal, with Santander UK, will fund the next stage of the company’s growth as it looks to accelerate its national expansion programme.
Together with cashflow, the new senior debt facilities will enable the group to expand its current portfolio of 33 bars to 70, over the next five years.
Toby Rolph, CFO at Be At One, said: “After a very thorough process during the summer months – exploring how we best fund the next stage of our growth – we are delighted to have successfully concluded this exercise with a very competitive refinancing package from Santander.
“That we were able to secure this deal at a time when some other leisure businesses are reporting a challenging debt market and experiencing difficult trading conditions, speaks to the exceptional quality of our business and its continued strong performance.”
Since opening its first bar on Battersea Rise in 1998, Be At One has grown into the leading, nationwide specialist cocktail bar brand. The group is majority owned by the three co-founders of the business, Steve Locke, Rhys Oldfield and Leigh Miller, and Piper, the private equity firm. The co-founders continue to manage the business alongside Andrew Stones (COO) and Toby Rolph.
The group has witnessed strong and uninterrupted revenue growth for more than a decade, delivering consistent like-for-like sales growth, and is well-positioned for continued expansion.
Andrew Stones added: “Our focus on delivering the exceptional Be At One guest experience is clearly paying off, and the conclusion of this process marks the start of the next chapter in our growth. With a strong pipeline and an ambitious growth programme, we look forward to delivering the unique Be At One experience – of high-quality cocktails and excellent service in a great atmosphere – to all of our guests across the UK.”
The conclusion of the refinancing process comes amid continued strong trading for the Be At One business, with like-for-like sales growth of 6.5 per cent for the six months to the end of August 2017, versus the same period last year. Group EBITDA has grown strongly, to £5.5m (LTM), for the past 12 months on sales of £39m.
Be At One was advised by AlixPartners, with Addleshaw Goddard providing legal support.