Bregal Freshstream announces acquisition of Belgian restaurant chain Lunch Garden

First deal since launching its €600m fund in September

Bregal Freshstream today announces that it has agreed to acquire Lunch Garden, the leading Belgian self-service restaurant chain, from a consortium of investors led by H2 Equity Partners. The investment is Bregal Freshstream’s first since launching its maiden €600m fund in September 2015 and will see it take a majority stake in Lunch Garden.

Established in 1966 and with over 70 branches across Belgium, Lunch Garden is an iconic restaurant brand that offers customers high quality, traditional Belgian cuisine, complemented by popular international dishes, with an average meal price of €11. Located in prime, high-footfall areas, all sites are profitable with Lunch Garden commanding a growing market share within the Belgian restaurant market.

With the appointment of a new management team in 2010 and the implementation of a refreshed restaurant concept, Lunch Garden has delivered a robust period of growth in recent years following over €50m of investment from the prior owners into new store openings and a renewal of the existing restaurant base.

As a result of Bregal Freshstream’s investment in the business, Lunch Garden will now look to accelerate its growth plans both organically and by increasing its restaurant roll out programme.
Bregal Freshstream’s maiden fund of €600m is focused on mid-market investments in growth businesses across a wide variety of sectors, with a particular geographic focus on the UK and Benelux markets.

The investment was led by Rayhan Davis and Irmo Holslag at Bregal Freshstream.

Commenting on its first acquisition, Managing Partner Patrick Smulders said:

“This is the first step in Bregal Freshstream’s investment journey and we are tremendously excited about our chosen partner. Lunch Garden fits perfectly into the investment criteria we identified, with a successful operational model, upside potential and significant growth opportunities. Lunch Garden has been very well invested by its prior owners and this backdrop, plus the talented, entrepreneurial management team that is already in place, makes the company an ideal first investment for our fund.”

Annick van Overstraeten, Lunch Garden General Manager, commented:

“We have worked hard in the past five years to grow Lunch Garden’s presence in the market and look forward to this new stage in the company’s development. The business is a much loved and well established brand within the Belgian marketplace and I see great potential for us to build on the strong momentum we have generated to date. Bregal Freshstream is the ideal partner to help us realise our growth ambitions and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”