Wednesday 12 May 2021 2:33 pm

Ex-Dragon's Den star plans £10m placing to fund expansion of London bar chain

Nightcap, the hospitality investment vehicle founded by ex-Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham, has launched a £10m placing to fund the expansion of London’s Adventure Bar Group. 

Nightcap, which is Aim-listed and was founded to help drinks-led businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic, said the £10m is “significantly higher than originally planned” due to “strong demand” from new and existing investors.

Sarah Willingham, who is known for her management of Planet Hollywood and Pizza Express as well as her stint on Dragon’s Den, founded Nightcap with entrepreneur husband Michael Toxvaerd.

It recently acquired Adventure Bar Group, which owns venues including two eponymous sites in Clapham, Bar Elba in Waterloo, and Tonight Josephine in Shoreditch, Waterloo and Birmingham.

The funding will be used to roll out Adventure Bar’s concepts by snapping up prime property for “attractive rates” to capitalise on lower rents following the pandemic.

It will also be used to fund further acquisitions. 

The Adventure Bar purchase was Nightcap’s second deal since it launched and follows its takeover of the 10-venue-strong London Cocktail Club business in January.

Willingham said:  “We are delighted to have secured this additional funding. The strength of demand from shareholders to participate in this placing is hugely telling, and testament to, we believe, two things: first, the amazing opportunity we have with Nightcap to back brilliant entrepreneurs and businesses like Adventure Bar Group and London Cocktail Club as we emerge from the pandemic.

“Secondly, it is a great endorsement of the premium bar sector and the opportunity to deliver significant growth and value amid huge pent-up demand from consumers – at a time when the ability to acquire the right prime sites at attractive rates is unmatched by anything I have seen during my 25 years in hospitality.”