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  • Writer's pictureDanny Joyce | Editor

KnightBridge acquires Freshly Chopped

KnightBridge Group today (27 June 2024) announced the acquisition of Freshly Chopped. Launched in 2012, Freshly Chopped grew to be one of Ireland’s largest indigenous quick service healthy food chains. The recently launched Hospitality Division of KnightBridge will retain the existing Freshly Chopped Senior Management & Head Office team and work with hospitality experts to breathe new life into the brand, while existing franchisees and the day to day operation of the company owned stores will not be affected.

Kent Lim & Bock Liang


Kent Lim, Founding Partner of KnightBridge Group, a Board Member of Irish Franchise Association and Restaurants Association of Ireland, previously worked with Freshly Chopped, and is very optimistic about the brand’s future: “By leveraging our international network and our expertise in investment and franchising, we see a very bright future for Freshly Chopped.” Kent will spearhead the Hospitality Division of KnightBridge, and is also appointed the new CEO of Freshly Chopped.  Jonathan Parkhill, who has worked as the Business Development Director with Freshly Chopped for the past 10 years, will remain in his pivotal role for the brand. The hospitality veteran will also join the Board of KnightBridge Hospitality. 

 



Brian Lee, Co-Founder of Freshly Chopped, will have a minority shareholding in the new structure of Freshly Chopped and act as an advisor and brand ambassador. Brian commented: "This is an exciting new chapter in the story of Freshly Chopped. Since we set up the company in 2012, I’ve been at the coalface, driving its growth from an idea at the back of my mind to one of Ireland’s biggest brands and Ireland's first, and now leading, healthy fast-food chain. I am immensely proud of the team and the partners who have supported our dream, allowing us to open over 60 outlets across the Island of Ireland, the Netherlands, Cyprus, and the UK. Today is a significant milestone for Freshly Chopped and, on a personal level, it’s the beginning of a new chapter that allows me the opportunity to explore new entrepreneurial avenues and passions."

 

KnightBridge is prepared to inject a significant investment into Freshly Chopped to rejuvenate it's branding and devise a new menu offering. KnightBridge acknowledges the valued support and patience of its existing key partners, suppliers, and particularly the confidence of the franchisees. A townhall meeting with all franchisees to present KnightBridge’s strategic plan and direction is a priority. 

 

Bock Liang, Group Chairman of KnightBridge said: “The Hospitality Division of KnightBridge has ambitious plans and is in active acquisition mode, with a particular interest in indigenous food brands in their early days who are looking to scale and expand.” Bock Liang is also the co-founder of COSMO Restaurants Group.

 

Alongside the acquisition of Freshly Chopped, Knightbridge is also looking to secure a master franchise in the UK and Ireland for an international brand that has 1,300 locations worldwide and is in the assessment stage of acquiring a Polish chain of 52 healthy food restaurants to further strengthen its position in the sector. Interpath Advisory, which advised KnightBridge on the acquisition of Freshly Chopped, has been retained to lead on commercial lease acquisition and financial strategic planning. Conor Mullany and Conor Mullins of Mullany Walsh Maxwells LLP handled the legal acquisition of Freshly Chopped.

 

Mark Degnan, Managing Director at Interpath Advisory, said: “We’ve been working closely with KnightBridge to deliver a transaction that will provide an ideal platform for its Hospitality Division to grow. The new capital injection, coupled with the restructuring of Freshly Chopped demonstrates the confidence the team has in the fundamental proposition of Freshly Chopped moving forward.”

 

KnightBridge Group is a prominent private equity firm co-founded by Bock Liang and Kent Lim. Specializing in high-impact investment solutions, KnightBridge Group is renowned for its strategic approach to property investment and development, particularly in the realm of social housing. With a robust foundation built on the expertise of high-net-worth investors and family offices, the firm stands as a pillar of innovation and excellence in the property investment sector. KnightBridge Group has strategic partner and office presences in Dublin, London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 

 

The new Hospitality Division of KnightBridge marks a strategic expansion to enhance the group’s presence in the dynamic hospitality sector.

 

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