McWin acquires majority stake in restaurant chain L’Osteria

The acquisition follows a December deal with Restaurant Brands International to expand the Burger King and Popeyes brands across several countries in eastern Europe.

European asset manager McWin has acquired a majority stake in restaurant operator L’Osteria, valuing the business at almost €400 million. Financial details were undisclosed.

L’Osteria, an Italian-themed restaurant chain founded in 1999, has 157 stores located across western Europe. Founders Klaus Rader and Friedemann Findeis will both remain as significant minority shareholders in the business.

McWin deployed capital from its €525 million McWin Restaurant Fund, which was launched in 2022 and was backed by an unnamed wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The investment will support L’Osteria’s expansion in Germany as well as new and existing markets in Europe.

The vehicle invests exclusively in large-cap restaurant groups with a ticket size of at least €100 million.

McWin founding partner Henry McGovern said: “In 30 years of following the European foodservice market, I have rarely come across a proprietary brand with this level of quality and opportunity. We are big believers that excellent business like this one outperform in turbulent times. Italian cuisine is universally popular and L’Osteria is the clear market leader in the largest economy in Europe.”

The McWin Restaurant Fund also completed a deal with Restaurant Brands International in December 2022 to acquire master franchise and development rights to develop the Burger King and Popeyes brands in several countries in eastern Europe.

The asset manager intends to expand the Burger King brand with new outlets in Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic. The Popeyes brand will be further developed across the Czech Republic and Poland, with plans to open 600 restaurants across both brands in the next 10 years.

McWin has two other vehicles currently in market, both of which target the food industry. The firm launched the McWin Food Ecosystem Fund in September 2021 and has a €300 million target.

The vehicle has a 70/30 split, with the majority of its capital allocated to food service investments with the remainder of the strategy aimed at food tech investments.

In June 2022, McWin also launched a dedicated €250 million Food Tech Fund aimed at the agtech space, which will target the whole food value chain.

Partner Martín Dávalos cited areas such as “ingredients and alternative proteins, optimization of the supply chain with technology, food traceability, recycling and upcycling, and the circular economy,” as target areas for the fund.

The vehicle will invest in between 15-20 companies and will target commitments from institutional investors, family offices and high-net-worth individuals.