Sentio Insight has provided financial due diligence to Piper PE LLP for its £10m investment in Flat Iron, the much loved steak restaurant group. Piper is the UK’s leading specialist investor in consumer brands and recognised expert in the hospitality sector.
The first Flat Iron was founded by Charlie Carroll in 2012 as a pop up above a London pub and proved such a success that a permanent site was opened later that year in Beak Street in Soho. Carroll was inspired to start the business because he felt the steak market was served either by good quality but very expensive high-end restaurants or poor quality, mass market offers. Flat Iron was created to challenge traditional perceptions of steak, offering customers a modern take on the traditional steak house – no fuss, no frills, just delicious high quality steak for £10.
Flat Iron currently has four London sites (Soho, Tottenham Court Road, Covent Garden and Shoreditch) with two due to open later this year in Golborne Road and King’s Cross.
The £10m investment sees early backers exit the business and provides the company with the necessary funding to build the team, focus on delivering outstanding quality and value and enable further units to open in and around London to meet customer demand. Founder Carroll retains a controlling stake of the business and will remain as Managing Director.
Charlie Carroll said: “I wanted to work with a partner who shared my vision for Flat Iron and my ambition to build a branded business that focuses on being better and different at every stage of the journey. Piper’s passion for Flat Iron has been evident from the outset, and the team has taken great care and time to build a relationship both with me and the brand. This, coupled with their deep understanding of the sector and ability to add significant value through their networks, knowledge and in-house expertise, led me to select them as my partner.”
Peter Kemp-Welch, partner at Piper, said: “The consistently long queues outside Flat Iron are testimony to Charlie’s passion for providing outstanding quality steak at great value, offering customers an “everyday occasion” – special enough for visits to be planned but quick, convenient and affordable enough to attract spontaneous as well as regular visits. We are looking forward to working with Charlie to continue growing Flat Iron into a beacon brand of excellence.”
Financial due diligence was provided by Ian Robinson from Sentio Insight and Russ Cahill from Tax Advisory Partnership. Piper was also advised by law firm Bond Dickinson. The company and shareholders were advised by GCA Altium and Jones Day. NatWest have provided new banking facilities to support the growth of the business.