Gusto announces management buyout from Living Ventures

Gusto Restaurant and Bar has announced a management buyout (MBO) from Living Ventures, in a deal backed by Palatine Private Equity.

Gusto, which was founded in 2007 following a relaunch from Est Est Est, is looking to open more restaurants across the UK over the next three to four years.

The Living Ventures Group owns other well-known brands including Blackhouse, Australasia, Artisan and The Alchemist, and recorded group sales of £65m in the year to March 2014, a 36% increase on the previous year.

LV founders Tim Bacon, Jeremy Roberts have invested in the new Gusto business and will stay on as non-executive directors. Gusto's Managing Director Sue Crimes and Operations Director Tony Griffin will join the board, with Palatine's managing partner, Gary Tipper, and investment director Beth Houghton, who led the investment process completing the team.

With Palatine's support, Gusto is set to capitalise on growth and already has plans to launch a new flagship restaurant in Manchester city centre.

It currently operates across nine sites in the North including, Alderley Edge, Cookridge, Cheadle Hulme, Didsbury, Edinburgh, Heswall, Knutsford, Liverpool and Newcastle. Further restaurants will be opened across the UK focusing on city centre and affluent suburban locations.

This year, the business achieved sales of £16.4m and currently employs more than 400staff across the various locations.