Japanese chain restaurant receives £5m growth investment

TLT has advised YFM Equity Partners, a specialist private equity fund manager, on a multi-million pound investment into national restaurant group, Tonkotsu.

The Japanese ramen restaurant already has sites in Birmingham, Battersea, Soho, Hackney, Notting Hill, Bankside, Selfridges and London City.

Their unique handmade noodles with Tokyo influences have earned the group award-winning status and the investment will be used to support the group’s ambitious expansion plans. Entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham, formerly of Pizza Express and Bombay Bicycle Club, has also joined the board as chair.

The addition of Tonkotsu to the YFM Equity Partners investment portfolio builds on their leisure sector experience in the casual dining sector, having already backed restaurant group Friska Foods in an earlier deal advised by TLT.

The TLT team was led by corporate partner Jon Gill with support from corporate solicitor Nicole Spurling and trainee solicitor Tori Mills, and drew on support from across TLT’s specialist leisure sector team, including Rachel Channer (Real Estate) and Andrew Griffin (Licensing).

The deal was led by Jamie Roberts and Mike Clarke at YFM. Mike Clarke commented: “We have been supported by TLT on several investments in recent years and are continually impressed by both their expertise and their ability to provide a smooth and seamless experience. TLT share our ambition to grow businesses in the right way to maintain the culture and brand. We’re delighted that their advice has allowed us to partner with Tonkotsu and support them on their next stage of growth.”

Jon Gill, partner at TLT, said: “We were delighted to be able to bring together TLT’s deep understanding of the leisure, food and drink sector, and our private equity expertise, to deliver this transaction for YFM. The deal demonstrates that strong operators with compelling propositions will continue to attract capital to pursue their growth plans, and we wish the Tonkotsu team every success in their new partnership with YFM.”