UK-based convenience store retailer EG Group has acquired British fresh fast-food restaurant chain Leon Restaurants.
Although the financial details of the deal have not been officially disclosed, various news agencies reported that Leon was acquired for $138m (£100m).
Established in 2004 by John Vincent, Henry Dimbleby and chef Allegra McEvedy, Leon has a network of more than 70 restaurants, of which 42 are company-owned restaurants operated on leasehold locations in London and other large cities across the UK.
It also has 29 franchised sites at important transport hubs, including airports and train stations across the UK as well as five other markets in Europe, one of which is the Netherlands.
EG Group co-founders and co-CEOs Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa said: “Leon is a fantastic brand that we have long admired. As established entrepreneurs in the foodservice retail market ourselves, we have a huge admiration for the business that John and the Leon team have built over the years and firmly believe that their culture and values closely align with our own.
“The acquisition of Leon presents EG Group with a fantastic opportunity to further develop the menu offer, the various concession formats including drive-thrus and will enable us to significantly build on the existing network by exploring opportunities across our own sites along with other strategic locations.”
The deal is part of EG Group’s strategy to grow its non-fuel and foodservice operations.
Currently, EG Group operates more than 700 foodservice outlets in the UK and Ireland, out of which 310 are standalone premises.
Beginning from next year, EG Group plans to open nearly 20 Leon sites annually as it sees significant potential for Leon’s non-restaurant products across its convenience retail proposition.
Leon CEO John Vincent said: “In some ways, this is a sad day for me, to part company with the business I founded 17 years ago in Carnaby Street. But, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mohsin and Zuber across the last few years. They have been enthusiastic customers of Leon, going out of their way to eat here whenever they visit London.
“They are decent, hard-working business people who are committed to sustaining and further strengthening the values and culture that we have built at Leon, a business that has my Dad’s name above the door.”