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OakNorth lends to Lonsdale Capital

By James Buckley - Monday, February 05, 2018 14:37

OakNorth has completed a loan to Lonsdale Capital Partners, the private equity firm set up in 2009 by Alan Dargan, Ross Finegan and David Gasparro.

Lonsdale will use the debt finance from OakNorth to acquire Simmons Bars, a London cocktail bar chain with 12 sites across the capital, including in: King’s Cross, Camden, Clerkenwell, Soho, Liverpool Street, Fulham and Balham.

Established in 2013, over the last three years the company has opened nine of the 12 bars. Nick Campbell, the co-founder and CEO, will continue to lead the business with the support of Lonsdale. With Londsale’s support, the company intends to continue adding further sites across London, with the aim of expanding to over 30 bars in the short to medium term. 

James Knott, Investment Director at Lonsdale Capital Partners, said: “Since our founding in 2009, our investment approach has been to back businesses operating in an attractive niche, with strong and ambitious management teams. Simmons is a perfect example of this – although it is a relatively young business, it has grown impressively over the past four years under the leadership of Nick Campbell and now boasts a well-located, profitable estate. In addition to this, it is positioned in one of the fastest growing leisure segments in the UK – one that is expected to be worth £608m by 2021. With this finance from OakNorth, we will be able to provide Simmons with the capital and expertise required to help it reach its full potential.”

Stuart Blair, Debt Finance Director at OakNorth, said: “This is the first deal we’ve done with Lonsdale and emphasises our commitment to supporting private equity deals in the lower mid-market. Despite increasing competition, chains such as Simmons Bars have managed to carve themselves a niche and build a dedicated following in the cities in which they operate. With Lonsdale’s support, Simmons will be able to pursue its ambitious growth plans of reaching 36 sites over the next four years.”

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