System gastronomy The ASH grows thanks to VR equity partners
Frankfurt am Main / Bonn — With already eight restaurants in the Rhine and Ruhr regions and soon a flagship location in Frankfurt am Main, the young gastronomy brand “The ASH” is on course for expansion. The Frankfurt-based investment company VR Equitypartner is supporting the fine-casual dining concept with capital in the single-digit million range as part of a mezzanine financing to enable it to implement its growth plans in an even more targeted manner.
The ASH is a brand launched in 2015 by KSH 2 Systemgastronomie GmbH, which in turn is part of the Apeiron Group. Apeiron also operates the Bullitt and Ginyuu brands and franchises several L’Osteria stores. Founder and co-CEO is Kent Hahne, an industry great who has been involved in the development of franchise systems such as Segafredo Germany and Vapiano, among others.
The ASH restaurants take the idea of American Supper Clubs from the 1920s. In a mix of restaurant and bar, they combine steaks, burgers, fish and salads with hip drinks in a spacious atmosphere. The ambiance features an open kitchen with a centrally located lava grill, a long cocktail bar and high-top tables, and a DJ booth. The ASH already employs more than 460 people and recently increased sales by 80 percent to around EUR 14 million; revenues of more than EUR 20 million are targeted for 2019.
Christian Futterlieb, Co-Managing Director of VR Equitypartner, says: “Kent Hahne is a very successful and experienced system caterer whose enthusiasm for his concept is simply infectious. The first The ASH restaurants have established themselves very successfully within a very short time. We are delighted to be part of this growth story and to be able to experience the development of the latest offshoot up close here in Frankfurt’s new Marienforum.” Kent Hahne adds: “We are very pleased about the partnership with VR Equitypartner. We have always perceived the decision-making process as very professional and fair. We will continue on the chosen path together in the coming years.”
About VR Equitypartner GmbH
VR Equitypartner is one of the leading equity financiers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company supports medium-sized family businesses in a goal-oriented manner and with decades of experience in the strategic solution of complex financing issues. Investment opportunities include growth and expansion financing, corporate succession or shareholder changes. VR Equitypartner offers majority and minority investments as well as mezzanine financing. As a subsidiary of DZ BANK, the central institution of the cooperative banks in Germany, VR Equitypartner consistently puts the sustainability of corporate development ahead of short-term exit thinking. VR Equitypartner’s portfolio currently comprises around 100 commitments with an investment volume of EUR 500 million. www.vrep.de.
Consulting firms involved in the transaction by VR Equitypartner:
Commercial: Claudia Driver, Hamburg (former GF Jim Block and Block Bräu)Financial: WKGT, Düsseldorf, with Klaus Schaldt and Dr. Anne SchüllerTax, Legal: WKGT, Düsseldorf, with Torsten Reschke and Heike Welling