Tortilla Mexican Grill PLC, the UK’s largest Tex-Mex chain, is to float on London’s AIM market to take advantage of what it says is an “unprecedented opportunity” to expand post-covid.
The burritos and tacos chain currently has 62 sites globally including 52 in the UK and ten in the Middle East but has plans for a further 45 sites over the next five years.
“The economic challenges facing the hospitality sector have resulted in a dramatically increased number of vacant units on the market with rent levels rebalancing to more sustainable levels,” it said in a statement.
Key to its plans are cloud-kitchens or delivery-only outlets, which it says are very commercially efficient and proved their worth during the pandemic.
Over the period of the pandemic lockdown, Tortilla says it grew underlying earnings by 250% and opened eight stores.
Richard Morris, chief executive, added: “The business has shown itself to be extraordinarily well-positioned throughout the pandemic, as the Tortilla product proposition is well-suited to the growing delivery market and we have proved the brand’s flexibility to operate across a range of locations and formats, including smaller sites and cloud kitchen.
“We believe that this IPO unlocks our ability to consolidate on this momentum and enables us to capitalise on significant long-term growth opportunities in the post-Covid-19 pandemic landscape.”
Trading in the shares is expected to begin on 8 October after a placing.