Flexible Growth Capital Solutions

We invest in the next generation food service companies.

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What We Do

We partner with passionate, best-of-breed operators and entrepreneurs to help them build exceptional businesses.

Fast Changing Landscape

Shifting demographics, urban lifestyles and technology are fundamentally transforming the way we eat and are driving demand for a new generation of vibrant, casual and limited service restaurant concepts offering premium quality/healthy foods and convenience at affordable prices.

Sector Specialists

We provide creative capital and unparalleled industry expertise to expansion-stage food service companies across Europe, in support of domestic and international development, add-on acquisitions, management/partner buyouts, recapitalisations and other complex situations. We are supported by a team of highly experienced operating partners, and by an Advisory Board comprised of former CEOs and accomplished leaders of the global food service industry.

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What We Look For

We invest exclusively in food service businesses, that’s all we do. We focus on European headquartered, expansion-stage chains within the Quick Service, Fast Casual, Casual Dining and Coffee & Specialty space.

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Proven concepts with at least 10 sites or revenues of €10 million

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Strong employee culture and customer loyalty

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Bold and ambitious, experienced operators with a passion for the business and disrupting the status quo

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Scalable operating models and demonstrable domestic and/or international growth prospects

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Superior store-level economics

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Environmentally and socially sustainable

How We Do It

We understand food service better than anybody else, and when we invest, our portfolio companies get our full attention, backed by decades of experience and a global network of world-class industry resources.

Customised Capital Solutions

We look to invest €10-30+ million over the life of an investment. We take minority and majority positions and can structure transactions with a mix of equity and debt so as to provide a less dilutive funding solution than traditional buyout firms. As entrepreneurs and former operators ourselves, we take a more management-friendly approach and ensure alignment with the teams with whom we partner.

Value-add Investors

We are not the operators, you are. We are there to accelerate our partners’ success by empowering and helping them avoid pitfalls along the way. We provide tangible support when needed in areas such as brand building, marketing, unit expansion, new market entry strategies, franchising, operations, supply chain optimisation, training and technology. We do all this while preserving each company’s unique culture and entrepreneurial spirit. We are supportive, but never in the way.

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Who We Are

With a team of twelve senior investment and operations professionals, and over US$600 million invested by its founders in 70 restaurant companies over the past decade, Capdesia brings unparalleled industry expertise and resources to ambitious, fast growing food service chains.

Niels Lorijn

Co-founder & Managing Director

Niels has over 26 years of experience in private equity and investment banking with a focus on consumer-facing and technology companies. He is the former Chairman of CapitalSpring, a leading US restaurant investment company co-founded by Chris Unrath.
Over the past fifteen years, Niels helped build four highly successful investment platforms in Europe, the US and the Middle-East. During this time, he invested in over 30 companies, including two major European restaurant brands. Prior to Capdesia, Niels was Head of Private Equity at Oasis Capital Bank, a Bahrain-based sovereign investment vehicle, and co-Head of Europe at CapitalSource, a leading NYSE-listed investment company.
Niels became a private equity investor in 2002 when joining Langholm Capital, a European consumer-focused investment firm, following an 11-year career in investment banking, most recently as Director of Global Telecom, Media & Technology at Merrill Lynch. He graduated from KULeuven (Belgium) with an MSc in Applied Economics and is fluent in Spanish, French and Dutch.

CHRIS UNRATH

Co-founder & Managing Director

Chris has over 25 years of private equity and private debt experience, including during the past ten years at CapitalSpring, focusing exclusively on investing in branded consumer food service companies.
Chris co-founded CapitalSpring in 2005 and over the next decade built the business into one of the most active and successful institutional investors in the US restaurant sector, with offices in New York, Atlanta, Nashville and Los Angeles. At the time of his departure in December 2017, CapitalSpring had in excess of US$1.3 billion of assets under management and an investment portfolio spanning over 4,000 restaurant units across 50 brands. Prior to CapitalSpring, Chris managed the acquisition, oversight and divestment of private businesses on behalf of Ardshiel and GE Asset Management.
Chris began his career in mergers and acquisitions at Merrill Lynch & Co in New York and London. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BSc in Finance from Fordham University.

ABE MATAMOROS

Co-founder & Managing Director

Abe has more than 24 years of experience in the restaurant industry with particular expertise in operations, franchising, general management, international business development and new country openings.
Abe started his career with PepsiCo’s restaurant division (now Yum! Brands), where he held several progressive roles up to, most recently, Executive Director of Iberia (Pizza Hut and KFC). In 2004, he joined Starbucks Coffee at their European HQ in Amsterdam as General Manager for 13 EMEA countries, Head of Operations and later Director of New Markets, responsible for all new country openings. Following a stint at Krispy Kreme as VP of Franchise Operations for the EMEA region, Abe set-up his own consultancy firm in 2013, focused on helping mid-market restaurant groups such as Wagamama, Quick Restaurants and LEON, with their domestic and international expansion. Abe holds an MBA from London Business School, an MEM from George Washington University and a BSc in Marine Engineering from USCGA. He is fluent in Spanish.

H. ASHTON CROSBY

Co-founder & Managing Director

Ashton has over 15 years of experience as an investor, investment banker, operator and entrepreneur across the food service and consumer/retail sectors in Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia.
Ashton joined Capdesia from True Capital, a European mid-market consumer/retail private equity firm, where he ran the investment team. Prior to True, Ashton worked at Tesco in Business Development and helped execute their investments in what became ‘Tesco Hospitality’ (Giraffe, Harris+Hoole, Euphorium Bakery and Tesco Cafes). He also spent time as COO/Commercial Director of Harris+Hoole, opening 52 coffee shops in 2½ years. Previously, Ashton was an investment banker with Nomura’s EMEA Consumer/Retail M&A team. He started his career at Citibank and BGC Partners/Cantor Fitzgerald in New York and Hong Kong. During this time he also helped launch two consumer/retail businesses. Ashton holds a BA in Modern Languages from Trinity College and an MBA from HEC Paris. He is fluentin Spanish and conversational in Mandarin, French and Portuguese.

Get In Touch

London

105 Victoria Street, 6th Floor
London SW1E 6QT
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 20 3129 2673
info@capdesia.com

Brussels

35, Rue du Congrès
1000 Brussels
Belgium

+32 (0) 2 851 33 40
info@capdesia.com

LUXEMBOURG

6, Rue Gabriel Lippmann
E Building, L-5365 Munsbach Luxembourg

+352 26 39 21 72
info@capdesia.com

‘Food is our common ground, a universal experience’

James Beard