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Imbiba EIS targets bar-restaurants

Enterprise Private Equity is raising up to £10m for the Imbiba Bar and Restaurants enterprise investment scheme fund, with up to £2m being invested in each portfolio of investments.

The fund will invest for growth in new companies that will establish high quality bar-restaurants in central London,including village-style areas such as Islington, Hampstead, Chelsea and Notting Hill. Leasehold premises will identified by the Imbiba Partnership, a specialist investment firm in the bar and restaurant sector, as there are few freehold or long leasehold opportunities of more than 25 years in central London at an attractive price.

Each business will look at improving trading and profitability, refurbishment and development and creating a portfolio of branded businesses. Target base case returns to investors are £2.33 for each net 70p invested, which is each  £1 invested less 30 per cent EIS tax relief. The medium and high case returns over the same period are £3 and £3.67 for each net 70p invested. 

Imbiba says eating out is popular as a convenient option for people who have little free time and is also seen as an affordable treat at a time when finances are being squeezed. Imbiba knows the London market well and intends to establish bar-restaurants that are different rather than generic, boring or jumping on a bandwagon.  It sees central London as a growing market and believes that as an international city, it is more likely than other parts of the UK to attract big events and benefit more from tourism.

A lack of liquidity can be an issue with EIS funds. An exit from this one is most likely to be through a trade sale. It is intended that a matched bargain facility will be available from the third year for investors who want to get out before a trade sale, but this will only be possible if there are buyers for their shares so investors may face a wait before they can realise their investment.

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