TriSpan acquires majority stake in Pho

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

TriSpan acquires majority stake in Pho

Related tags Pho TriSpan Private equity Casual dining Multi-site

TriSpan has acquired a significant majority stake in Vietnamese restaurant group Pho.

The investment has been made through the private equity firm's dedicated restaurant fund Rising Stars. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Under the deal, the founders and management have maintained a significant interest in the company, with former finance director Patrick Marrinan leading the group as managing director.

Founders Stephen and Juliette Wall, who opened the first Pho restaurant in Clerkenwell in 2005, will remain in executive roles to help support the growth plan, alongside director of operations Ewan McDonald and marketing director Libby Andrews.

Robin Rowland, TriSpan’s European operating partner, will chair the board, with current chairman Steve Hill remaining as a non-executive director.

“After an extremely challenging 18 months, during which time the superhuman efforts of our team and support of our landlords have helped us to weather the pandemic, it’s fantastic to receive this vote of confidence in Pho,” says Stephen and Juliette.

Pho currently has 30 restaurants and operates three delivery-only kitchens. Its expansion was supported initially by ETM Group’s Ed and Tom Martin, and it later received backing from Gresham House.

“Gresham House have been wonderful partners and we now look forward to working with Robin and the TriSpan team as we get back to what we do best, with Pat stepping up and leading the charge as MD along with Ewan, Libby and the rest of our team," adds the founders.

Pho is due to open its next restaurant in Lincoln late this summer and is actively looking at other site opportunities.

“It’s a real honour to lead the company through the next phase of growth and, whilst this deal means we have to say goodbye to a great partner in Gresham House, we are delighted to be welcoming Robin and TriSpan to the Pho team,” says Marrinan.

The investment in Pho marks TriSpans’s third in the UK through its Rising Stars arm, joining Rosa’s Thai Café and Thunderbird Fried Chicken.

“Pho is a brand and a business that we have admired for a long time. We are therefore very proud to have been given the opportunity to partner with the founders and this exceptional management team on the next journey of growth," says TriSpan partners Fady Michel Abouchalache and Joseph-Patrick Dib.

“We are very excited at the prospect of bringing more Pho restaurants to customers in the UK and beyond."

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