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Shoosmiths advises Bob & Berts on investment to launch in Scotland

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National law firm Shoosmiths has advised coffee chain Bob & Berts on £2m funding from the BGF to venture into the Scottish market.

Founded in Northern Ireland, Bob & Berts is a family business that has grown to encompass 16 outlets in the country with a further 30 stores planned to open over the next four years, 20 of which will be in Scotland.

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Its relaxed style and focus on fresh food has proved a winning combination with a wide and growing customer base.

The investment from the BGF will fund the planned opening of the 20 Scottish stores which will bring around 400 jobs to the region. The first stores are expected to open in the next few months, predominantly across the Central Belt of Scotland, focusing on market towns with strong local communities.

The investment will also see Mohan Mansigani, a former chief executive officer at Costa Coffee and Casual Dining Group, join the board as non-executive chairman.

Having a longstanding relationship with the firm’s Belfast office, it was a natural step for Bob & Berts to use Shoosmiths’ trusted legal expertise in Scotland.

Corporate partner Alison Gilson and associate Jen Paton of Shoosmiths’ Edinburgh office led on the deal with assistance from associate Scott Dowds-Moffatt in Shoosmiths’ Belfast office, who has advised Bob & Berts over the past four years from the coffee chain’s inception.

Colin McClean, co-founder of Bob & Berts, commented: “The backing of the BGF will be invaluable in our expansion into Scotland. The Scottish market holds many opportunities for us and we look forward to working with our business partners to replicate the strong growth we have experienced in Northern Ireland.

Alison Gilson (PICTURE) added: “We are extremely pleased to help Bob & Berts in securing the BGF investment and are certain they will make their mark on the Scottish market. This has been a great opportunity to bring together the legal expertise in both our Edinburgh and Belfast offices to secure a successful and timely deal completion, we look forward to working on many more cross-border projects together.

Shoosmiths’ corporate team advises public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle.

Shoosmiths work with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment.

Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in first place by deal volume in Experian’s 2016 MarketIQ UK & Ireland M&A league tables.

The team was recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.

Robyn Adams