Tortilla rolls into France with acquisition of Fresh Burritos

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Tortilla expands into France with acquisition of Fresh Burritos QSR brand

Related tags Tortilla Mexican cuisine Multi-site QSR International expansion Franchise acquisition France

Tortilla has acquired France’s largest fast-casual Mexican restaurant group, providing a platform to accelerate its ambitions to franchise across Europe.

The group has acquired the rights to the Fresh Burritos brand alongside its estate of 13 company-owned leasehold restaurants and network of 19 franchised locations for a total consideration of €3.95m.

The deal is funded from Tortilla's existing debt facilities and expected to contribute £2.5m of additional annual adjusted EBITDA (pre-IFRS 16) at 24 months maturation.

Tortilla's acquisition of Fresh Burritos contributes towards the group's five-point plan set out earlier this year​ to drive profit in the years ahead, of which key pillars are to develop the brand internationally and double-down on franchise.

“[Our] international ambitions are no secret, and acquiring Fresh Burritos is our gateway to mainland Europe,” says Andy Naylor, chief executive of Tortilla.

“With Mexican cuisine surging in popularity, these prime French locations give us a solid launchpad.”

Tortilla already operates a franchise model both in the UK and Middle East through partners SSP Group, Compass and Eathos. It currently operates 89 restaurants globally and is the largest fast-casual Mexican restaurant group in the UK.

A ‘top-tier’ European team led by non-executive directors Francesca Tirigello and Gilles Boheringer will oversee Tortilla’s growth in France and as part of the expansion plan a French central production kitchen is currently in development.

Fresh Burritos founder and CEO Timothée Tronet, who launched the brand back in 2011, will be an advisor to the Tortilla France board, supporting on the transition, local market strategy and managing franchisee relationships.

“I have long admired Tortilla and couldn’t think of a better brand to partner with to take the French business to the next level,” says Tronet.

“As well as their passion for the product and our category, Tortilla’s operational model and scale will be an incredible asset to our franchisees.

“There is great enthusiasm in France and Europe in general for Mexican food, and Tortilla is the best positioned to take advantage of the market trends.”

The acquisition is conditional on certain procedural items. Completion will take place on 1 July 2024.

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