Co-founder Henry Dimbleby steps away from Leon to make room for private equity directors

Alys Key
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Henry Dimbleby (left) will step down from the board while co-founder John Vincent remains CEO (Source: Leon)

The co-founder of “naturally fast food” chain Leon stepped down from its board this month after a private equity firm invested in the business.

Henry Dimbleby, son of broadcaster David, has resigned from the board of the company he set up with current CEO John Vincent in order to make way for new directors from Spice Private Equity.

Dimbleby remains a shareholder, but his interests will be represented by Vincent.

GP Investments, owner of Spice, has appointed two directors to the Leon board, after the firm put £25m into the brand in exchange for a “significant minority stake”. The transaction was completed earlier this month.

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A Leon spokesperson said that Dimbleby would “continue to be John's business partner and number one fan”. Dimbleby’s wife Jemima has also stepped down from the board.

Leon has doubled in size over the past three years, as the food-to-go market expands. The investment from Spice is intended to help fund further expansion and ensure Leon becomes a world leader in its field.

John Vincent said of the investment: “We are going to make many mistakes and learn a lot as we grow here in the UK and make our first forays into the US. The biggest thanks go to all of our guests and to those who have been asking us to come and open where they live or work."

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