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​Steakhouse Chain Hawksmoor Explores £100m Valuation Sale

​Steakhouse Chain Hawksmoor Explores £100m Valuation Sale

Posted by Emily on 3rd Jul 2024

Hawksmoor, the renowned high-end steakhouse chain, is allegedly up for sale. The move could value the business at approximately £100 million. The chain has enlisted the investment bank Stephens to identify potential buyers in hopes of expanding its international footprint.

Hawksmoor Wood Wharf 2024-01-20 Tom Page, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 2006 by Will Beckett and Huw Gott, Hawksmoor has grown to encompass 13 locations, including three overseas. The recent opening of a restaurant in Chicago adds to its existing sites in Dublin and New York. Since 2013, Graphite Capital has held a 51% stake in the company, following a £35 million investment to support a management buyout by the founders.

According to reports from the Financial Times, the investment process will see Beckett, the current CEO, and Gott retain their minority stakes post-sale. While Hawksmoor has refrained from commenting on the sale, Beckett stated, "We've got a great relationship with Graphite, and together, we are getting to know the US investment community in more depth. As that continues, an opportunity may emerge that we wish to explore together."

Hawksmoor's journey began in Spitalfields, East London, with its inaugural restaurant in 2006. This was followed by openings in Covent Garden in 2010 and the City of London in 2011. Recently, Hawksmoor reported a turnover of £90 million for the 12 months leading up to April, a 20% increase from the previous year. According to sources, the company's underlying profits exceeded £10 million by the end of June.

This strategic move comes three years after Hawksmoor abandoned plans to float on the London Stock Exchange due to uncertainties in the hospitality sector caused by supply chain disruptions and labour shortages in the post-pandemic period.

Hawksmoor in Covent Garden User:Andrew Davidson, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hawksmoor's potential sale is part of a broader trend of high-profile transactions within the restaurant industry over the past year. In October, The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie & Benny's and Wagamama, was taken private by the US buyout group Apollo for £506 million. Similarly, Fulham Shore, the owner of The Real Greek and Franca Manca, was acquired by Japanese restaurant operator Toridoll for £93 million in April last year.

The announcement of Hawksmoor's potential sale comes amid challenging times for the restaurant and pub sector. Data from UKHospitality revealed that between 2021 and 2023, 22,859 businesses closed while only 11,734 new establishments opened.