Bar News

New Bar Group Nightcap to IPO on Aim With First Acquisition

Nightcap, a new company led by hospitality entrepreneur and ex-Dragon’s Den investor Sarah Willingham, has announced an intention to float on AIM and that it has agreed a deal to acquire the London Cocktail Club (LCC) group of bars.

Nightcap’s vision is to become the UK’s leading bar operating group through acquiring, investing and expanding drinks-led hospitality concepts, such as LCC, as the wider UK hospitality market emerges from what has been one of the most challenging periods of trading for the sector in modern times.

The group will work with the existing LCC management team and shareholders to expand the business from 10 to a target of 40 sites, in London and other major UK cities, in the next five years. In addition, Nightcap will look to acquire, re- capitalise and rollout other high quality, drinks-led bar brands that focus on how consumers will want to live and socially interact, post-Covid.

8 January 2021

Sarah Willingham, CEO of the new group, is a successful hospitality operator and investor with an impressive track record of developing and growing a range of hospitality businesses. As well as co-founding LCC, her previous experience includes PizzaExpress, The Bombay Bicycle Club and Clapham House Group plc. She is also currently an investor in Tonkotsu Group, where she chairs the board.

The Nightcap executive team has both operational and corporate finance expertise and includes Toby Rolph, Chief Financial Officer, who was instrumental in the successful growth and sale of the cocktail bar chain Be At One, together with Michael Toxvaerd, Founder & Executive Director, who previously co-founded and led AIM-quoted NeutraHealth plc, and grew, previously AIM- quoted, asset manager Rasmala to $1.8bn AUM, as investor and director, before exiting the firm last year.

Nightcap’s management team believes that there are exceptional growth opportunities in the hospitality

sector which can be unlocked by supporting and stabilising businesses emerging from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite continued pressures faced by the sector, the board of Nightcap is confident that the premium bar market will return to growth, given the long-term demand for cocktails and social interaction in experience-led venues, offering exceptional hospitality and service. With the increased availibily of sites, with more favourable rents and incentives from landlords, the Nightcap management believes the group will be well placed in the coming years.

Founded in 2010, LCC has grown to 10 sites in London and Bristol, characterised by sophisticated drinks, vibrant “party-style” environment and first-class service. It was founded by Willingham alongside JJ Goodman, Raymond Blanc, David Moore and James Hopkins.

Willingham, Founder and CEO of Nightcap, said: “We are thrilled to be launching our IPO on AIM and to begin our mission of becoming the UK’s

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