Piper completes £16m investment in rising café-bar chain

Deal marks largest single investment for private equity firm

Loungers, a rising chain of café-bars which offers its customers a ‘third space’ between work and home, has received a £16m investment from Piper Private Equity.

The deal is Piper’s largest single investment to date, and the second to be sourced from its £107m Piper V fund. Peter Kemp-Welch, who led Piper’s investment, will join the board of Loungers under the terms of the deal.

Having founded the Pitcher & Piano chain of bars, and invested in similar ventures such as Las Iguanas and Be At One, Piper is confident it can harness its expertise to engineer further growth for Loungers, which was founded in 2002 and now encompasses 20 locations across the UK.

Loungers’ outlets, furnished with old photographs and board games, are designed to create a relaxing, community feel. The formula has already brought considerable success, and founders Alex Reilley, Jake Bishop and Dave Reid are planning to open another 50 outlets within the next five years.

Discussing the new investment, Reilley said: “We first met Piper four years ago and have been impressed with the team’s continued support and interest in our business over the intervening period.

“We see Piper as a great cultural fit for us and very much like the company’s desire to understand our brand and customers and the driving forces behind our success, as well as its obvious commitment to work with us as partners who can add significant value to our business.”

Kemp-Welch described Loungers as “an exceptional business with a highly driven and energetic management team”, adding that its outlets offer “a completely new alternative for customers and have the potential to be the ‘pub of the future'”.


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