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Rosa’s Thai Cafe chain acquired by US equity firm

Global private equity investment group, TriSpan has acquired a majority stake in UK restaurant chain Rosa’s Thai Cafe.

Founded in 2008, Rosa’s operates 13 Thai-themed sites across London. It has increased sales by more than 45% per annum in the last two years and has three further openings scheduled for 2018, including its first outside the capital.

Robin Rowland, the former chief executive of Pizza Express and Yo Sushi, has joined Rosa’s as non-executive chairman. Rowland stepped down as chief executive of the Mayfair Equity Partners-owned sushi chain, which was previously backed by Quilvest, in November and recently joined TriSpan as an operating partner.

Rosa’s founders Alex and Saiphin Moore will remain with the business, focusing on culture and innovation, and food quality respectively. It will be led by managing director Gavin Adair, the former ASK Italian and Wahaca executive who joined the company last year.

This is TriSpan’s first European deal. The firm, which has offices in London and New York, has backed US operators Yardbird and Rosa Mexicano in the last nine months.

Jurriaan van der Schee, head of European private equity, and Joseph-Patrick Dib, partner, led the deal for TriSpan.

TriSpan stated, “The TriSpan team have been tracking Rosa’s Thai Cafe for some time now given its authenticity, solid financial performance, health-orientation and support for multi-channel/multi-format growth. We believe Rosa’s Thai Cafe is arguably the most authentic group of branded Thai restaurants in the UK.”