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Mercapital invests €46M in Rubaiyat restaurant group to support its expansion in Latin America

27 July 2012

(Mercapital) July 27, 2012 – Mercapital has entered the capital of the Rubaiyat Group in order to drive its international expansion and help to complete the process of generational transition within the Rubaiyat founding family. Following this investment, of approximately €46M (Approx. US$57M), Mercapital will hold 70% of the Group.

Rubaiyat is an iconic restaurant group specialized in select meats, which enjoys an excellent reputation in Brazil where it has been present for nearly fifty years. Founded in 1951 by Spaniard Belarmino Fernández Iglesias, the Group currently has three restaurants in Sao Paulo and one in Madrid, which serve c.600,000 customers annually.

Rubaiyat’s remarkable success is largely due to its vertical integration philosophy. This enables it to offer meats of the highest quality as they come from cattle fed naturally and raised in freedom in the ranches it controls. The concept “From the Ranch to Your Plate” implemented by the Rubaiyat Group entails a perfect integration of cattle farming and cuisine.

The reorganization will conclude the process of generational succession at the company, as the Group’s founder, Belarmino Fernández Iglesias, exits its capital. His son, Belarmino Fernández, who became the Group’s Chairman in 2005 and has managed its daily operations since then, remains being a shareholder with a significant stake.

Mercapital investment aims to support and drive Rubaiyat’s international expansion plan, through which it will open 10 restaurants in 4 years (in the short term in Brasilia, where a restaurant is under construction and will be opened at the end of 2012, to be followed by Rio de Janeiro and Mexico D.F.).

This transaction is a good outcome of Mercapital’s strategy of supporting Spanish companies which, like Rubaiyat, wish to expand their businesses internationally, mainly in Latin America.

Santander Corporate & Investment Banking and Uria Menéndez advised the Fernández family, while Mercapital was advised by Cuatrecasas.

MERCAPITAL is one of the main private equity firms in Spain. Since its founding in 1985 it has invested €1.7bln (Approx. US$2.1bln) in 113 companies. With seven partners and twenty professionals, Mercapital has offices in Madrid, Sao Paulo and Miami, and is the only Spanish private equity investor in focused on developing the potential of the combination of Spanish and Latin American companies. It recently agreed to merge with N+1 Private Equity, to create the leading private equity player in Spain.