28th September 2022
Banana Tree Acquired by the Big Table Group
Banana Tree, a fast-casual pan-Asian chain, has been acquired by the Big Table Group, the operator of Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge. Will Baxter and Payam Keyghobadi of DSW Corporate Finance’s team in London advised the shareholders of Banana Tree on the transaction.
The restaurant chain was founded more than 30 years ago by William Chow, and began with a single location in London’s Maida Vale. It now has six locations in London, as well as locations in Chelmsford, Milton Keynes, and Oxford.
Big Table Group have said that Banana Tree adds a “key culinary category” with its pan-Asian cuisine to its existing brands and is a “complimentary extension aligned with key consumer trends including flavourful, fresh and convenient food, at an affordable price point and with favourable sustainability credentials – with 40% of its menu being plant-based”.
William Chow, a trained architect, will return to his original passion and collaborate with The Big Table Group team on the design of new Banana Trees. Anne Chow will continue to lead the brand as managing director, reporting to Alan Morgan, CEO of The Big Table Group.
Anne Chow said, “We are very excited about this new chapter with The Big Table Group, and look forward to working with our new colleagues and bring our beloved brand to new customers across the UK. We also would like to thank Will Baxter and Payam Keyghobadi of DSW Corporate Finance who have gone above and beyond in their advisory role on this transaction.”
Alan Morgan said, “We are delighted to be welcoming the Banana Tree team to The Big Table Group. Creating, growing and acquiring high-quality, complimentary brands with widespread consumer appeal is a key part of our growth strategy and therefore Banana Tree is an excellent addition to the business. Anne and William have built a brand with an extremely loyal following, superb food and guest scores, plus excellent financial metrics, and we see great opportunities to grow the business, taking it into new towns and cities around the UK.”
The Big Table Group, which is backed by leading private equity firm Epiris, announced plans last year to open 50 new restaurants and refurbish 70 existing locations over the next three years, investing £35 million in new openings alone.
The investment programme will bring the group to 200 restaurants across the UK, and the company plans to invest an additional £19 million to refurbish its restaurants.