Pub chain Greene King has bought the Loch Fyne seafood chain in a £68.1m deal.
The 36-strong casual dining chain is set for expansion, as new owner Greene King said it saw the potential to double the number of restaurants, through Loch Fyne’s development pipeline and converting existing pubs.
Loch Fyne started as an oyster bar in 1977 in Scotland, with the first two restaurants opened in England in the early 1990s. It is expected to post earnings of £8m after overheads in the coming 12 months.
Greene King, who owns existing food brands including the Hungry Horse chain, bought the business from private equity firm Hutton Collins. Chief executive Rooney Anand said “Loch Fyne is a high quality, well-respected British brand which gives us greater access to the premium end of the market.”
The move further into the restaurant business follows that of many firms hoping to offset the effects of the smoking ban, including Laurel Pub Company’s acquisition of Spanish tapas chain La Tasca, and Ultimate Leisure’s purchase of The Living Room business.