Fieldfisher advises on Tonkotsu's UK ramen restaurant expansion
Firm's leading corporate team assisted entrepreneurial noodle maker on its £5 million cash injection from YFM Equity Partners to help fund the opening of new restaurants in selected locations.
Led by corporate partner Tim Bird, Fieldfisher's deal team advised Tonkotsu on the investment from YFM, as well as advising selling shareholders on a small secondary sale as part of the transaction.
Tonkotsu was founded by innovative dining duo, Emma Reynolds and Ken Yamada, and currently has nine sites in London, with two more set to open in Peckham and Shoreditch, and one site in Selfridges Birmingham.
Dubbed the "ramen revolutionaries" by the catering trade press, Reynolds and Yamada, along with Tonkotsu's managing director, Stephen Evans, plan to open a "handful" of new sites in the UK with the help of YFM's funding.
The Tonkotsu deal is the latest in a string of successful private equity and venture capital (VC) funding transactions Fieldfisher has advised on this year, with investor interest in the UK leisure industry proving particularly strong.
In 2018, the firm advised on over £330 million of VC deals, including £30.7 million in the leisure and media sectors.
Commenting on the Tonkotsu deal, Fieldfisher corporate partner Tim Bird said:
"We were delighted to be able to advise Tonkotsu, a highly-motivated and original client with a great brand and culture, on this deal to facilitate its next phase of growth.
"We have seen that ambitious businesses like Tonkotsu with the right combination of people and ideas are attracting game-changing funding, even in hugely competitive and rapidly changing sectors, such as casual dining.
"Our entrepreneurial approach matches the mentality of the clients we work with in the private equity and VC space and we consistently deliver the best results for both lenders and borrowers."
Ken Yamada, co-founder of Tonkotsu, added:
"Tim Bird, Ruth Lewis and the team at Fieldfisher were tenacious in their approach, quick to respond, and their work helped us to achieve the deal we wanted.
"We would be very pleased to work with them again on any future transactions."
The Tonkotsu team was also assisted by Jonathan Zimmern, a partner at Fieldfisher.
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