Gainsborough to aid Urban Dining

Restaurant company Urban Dining has drafted in Gainsborough Communications to handle financial comms around its planned listing on the alternative investment market.

Gainsborough directors Andy Cornelius and Julian Walker are leading the account. KBC Peel Hunt is the nominated adviser and broker for the listing.

Urban Dining was set up by chief executive John Metcalf, chairman Glen Tomlinson and finance director Tim Woodcock. The company hopes to pitch the board’s experience to the City as the right team to acquire established restaurant groups.

Tomlinson and Metcalf were previously board directors at Pizza Express, while Woodcock was formerly at Punch Taverns and a non-executive director of First Quench, the firm behind Victoria Wines.

Urban Dining has lined up six institutional shareholders and expects to have more than £3m in cash resources.

Once the listing is complete, the company plans to raise more money to fund further acquisitions.

Urban Dining has said that it plans to target privately owned restaurant chains with at least 15 outlets. The firms will typically be restaurant groups with popular menus that are easy to replicate.

l Gainsborough director Duncan Murray is retained adviser to venture capital fund Doughty Hanson, not John Murray (PRWeek, 7 May).

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