O’Connors advises Mowgli Street Food on private equity funding

Mowgli Street Food Limited has won £3.45m of private equity funding to roll out its restaurants across the UK.

Liverpool-headquartered Mowgli is a chain of authentic Indian street food restaurants, with two sites in Bold Street and Water Street in Liverpool and one at the Corn Exchange in Manchester.

Nisha Katona founded the company in 2014, after leaving a career as a successful barrister to pursue her passion for authentic Indian food. She is also a food writer whose work has featured in publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times and The Independent. Her YouTube cooking channel has an international following and she also films for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and the Food Network.

Nisha says Mowgli’s modern focus on healthy, light, flavoursome dishes differentiates it from traditional Indian restaurants, as does its provision of an extensive gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offering using recipes passed down from her family.

The £6m turnover company currently employs 120 staff but its plans to roll out more sites – in Birmingham in September and Leeds in October/November – will see those numbers swell considerably.

The investment from private equity firm Foresight Group is the sixth from the Foresight Regional Investment Fund. As part of the investment, Matthew Peck, former head of finance at private equity backed Byron Hamburgers, has been appointed as finance director. Peck is expected to bring a thorough and detailed approach to modelling and evaluating sites. Karen Jones, the founder of Café Rouge and current chairman of Hawksmoor, has been appointed as chairman.

Nisha said: “I feel passionately about offering healthy, authentic Indian Street food to the market. Foresight’s expertise in growing businesses, alongside our recently appointed new recruits, will allow us to expand into new geographies without compromising the quality of our offering.”

Claire Alvarez, senior investment manager for Foresight, said: “Our investment into the Mowgli Street Food chain is tremendously exciting; the business is illustrative of the continuous innovation and entrepreneurial culture that is prevalent in the North West. The company is full of potential and we look forward to supporting Nisha in realising her vision for Mowgli Street Food to become the leading voice for Indian Street Food across the UK. The deal is the first in a series of investments we are looking at in the consumer and leisure sector this year and has added strongly to the portfolio diversity of the Foresight Regional Investment Fund.”

Commenting on O’Connors’ role advising her on the deal, Nisha said: “I cannot recommend O’Connors highly enough – they are exactly the kind of law firm you dream of having alongside you in the heat of a corporate transaction. Their advisers are calming, astute, tough and protective and stay hands-on from start to finish, which is so unusual. They fight your corner fiercely, work your case to the tiniest detail through the small, lonely hours and advise boldly and warmly through your most fragile moments. They honestly cared about every aspect of this transaction as much as I did and left me with a sweet and wholesome sense of victory.”