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Accountants and Restaurant Entrepreneur Buck Lending Trend

A new London restaurant venture by entrepreneur Alan Yau is proving a big hit with food fans following a launch supported by the corporate finance expertise of Surrey accountants TWP Accounting LLP, founder members of the Corporate Finance Network.

Italian bakery restaurant Princi, in Wardour Street, Soho, is a joint venture by Mr Yau and Milanese baker Rocco Princi, known as “the Armani of bread”. Mr Yau has a string of successful restaurant ventures to his name, including Wagamama, Cha Cha Moon, Hakkasan and Yauatcha.

After working with TWP partners Philip Munk and Andrew Goddon on the sale of Hakkasan and Yauatcha in 2008, Mr Yau turned to the firm again when sourcing finance for Princi, at a time when the credit crunch had drastically reduced the opportunity to raise finance.

TWP Managing Partner Philip Munk said: “In the current economic climate, many businesses in retail are finding it difficult to secure funding and as a start-up, Princi was in a particularly challenging position.

“However, we knew we had the corporate finance experience and contacts to make the deal happen. That, combined with Alan’s excellent track record and reputation as a restaurateur and entrepreneur, helped us to work closely with Lloyds TSB Commercial to secure the financial backing this ambitious firm required.

“Our experience with Princi shows that with the right approach, professional advisers and expertise, even now, there is funding out there.”

Andrew Pizzey, relationship manager with Lloyds TSB, said: “Launching a new business venture may seem a daunting prospect in the current climate and many firms are finding it difficult to fulfil their expansion plans. Basing our lending decision on the strength of Princi’s management team and the deliverability of its growth strategy, we were able to quickly structure a tailored funding package to match the needs of the business.

“Against a challenging economic backdrop, this deal demonstrates Lloyds TSB Commercial’s commitment to supporting ambitious start-up firms.”

Since Princi opened in October, with bridging finance provided by Mr Yau until the Lloyds TSB funding came through, it has proved highly successful, with the London Evening Standard described it as an “exhilarating addition” to Soho.

For more information, contact 01932 704700.

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