UK-based casual dining business Azzurri Group has purchased a controlling interest in Mexican-themed fast food restaurant chain Boojum.

RTE reported that the group acquired the interest from private equity firm Renatus Capital Partners.

The proportion of the stake and financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

Boojum will now join Azzurri’s existing brands, including quick service restaurant group Coco di Mama and Italian casual dining chains Zizzi and ASK Italian.

According to a report by The Caterer, Azzurri is now planning to expand the presence of this Mexican fast casual segment in the UK.

The first Boojum location to open under this expansion effort is scheduled for December 2023.

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The report noted that Boojum’s management team and managing director David Maxwell will continue to operate the Mexican restaurant chain after the transaction.

Azzurri Group CEO Steve Holmes said: “Boojum is a really strong business, with devoted customers and an exceptionally talented team. By leaning into Azzurri’s financial strength and platform, Boojum can seize the massive opportunity in the Mexican fast-casual segment.

“Boojum is a really good fit for Azzurri as the business will add a new dimension to our portfolio given it offers a different cuisine, a different occasion and serves a younger demographic.”

According to BusinessPlus, Azzurri currently owns and operates more than 200 restaurants and shops, employing 5,500 people.

Boojum is a Belfast-based restaurant chain founded in 2007. It currently supports a total of 300 employees deployed across its 14 different sites in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

A BBC report noted that the company was purchased by David and Andrew Maxwell in 2015 as part of a management buy-in, which was supported by Dublin-based private equity company Renatus.

David Maxwell said: “I would like to thank our team for their hard work and commitment. We look forward to working with Azzurri to successfully establish Boojum across the Irish Sea.”