The Alchemist looks to expand with £15m loan

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Growth plans: The Alchemist opened its first international site in Berlin last year
Growth plans: The Alchemist opened its first international site in Berlin last year

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Finance Pubco + head office

Multi-site operator The Alchemist has secured a £15m loan from OakNorth to support the roll out of new sites and refinance existing debt.

The business now has 23 sites including six in London, three in Manchester and three in Scotland alongside its first international opening in Berlin last year​ and plans to open a venue in London Victoria this month (February).

The Alchemist, which took home the title of Best Drinks Offer​ at the 2023 Publican Awards and is a finalist for this year’s awards​, has been backed by private equity firm Palatine since 2015.

Unwavering commitment

CEO Simon Potts said: “Despite the well-known challenges facing the hospitality sector, we take pride in our unwavering commitment of growing our brand across the UK.

“Looking ahead we have ambitions to roll out 10 new sites over the next three years with the funding from OakNorth being a key catalyst for this.

“This was our first time working closely with OakNorth after being aware of its reputation for backing experienced and innovative bar and restaurant operators.

“Stewart and his team lived up to this reputation, providing a level of flexibility and transparency that was simply not offered by other lenders.

“With this capital, we will be able to open additional sites and continued bringing our unique cocktail bar and restaurants to more areas of the UK and overseas.”

Impressive reputation

The Alchemist was a perfect example of the creativity offered by the UK’s bar and restaurant operators, according to OakNorth’s director of debt finance Stewart Haworth.

He added: “The group has built up a highly impressive reputation with the management team delivering an experiential and theatrical food and drink offer across all day parts, in an array of locations as they plotted their expansion here in the UK and abroad.

“With the pub and bar industry set for significant growth over the next five years, driven by a rising demand for craft spirits, the group is in a prime position to capitalise on this and we look forward to visiting the new sites in the future.”

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