Chef Gordon Ramsay, known for his fiery personality and no-nonsense attitude, already has thriving restaurants in Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Atlantic City. Now the celebrity chef wants to bring his popular concepts to markets across the country.
Ramsay recently signed a deal with Lion Capital to allow his brands to scale nationwide. Lion Capital is a private equity firm that has grown everything from Jimmy Choo to pan Asian chain, wagamama. Lion now owns 50 percent of Gordon Ramsay North America, according to Forbes. Ramsay has yet to comment on the deal, but Forbes reported “the deal stipulates that Lion will invest $100 million over five years to build an empire of Gordon Ramsay restaurants.”
"I fell in love with this country 20 years ago. There's a will here. My goal, right now, is to establish one of the most exciting food brands in America," Ramsay told Forbes. "Being a control freak, I needed the right partner onboard. There's a lot of businesses that don't like that kind of stranglehold. For me, the partnership was crucial."
Rumors of the deal with the London and Los Angeles-based private equity firm began to circulate last fall. In order for his vision for a restaurant empire to come to life Ramsay knew he would need a financial partner to aid expansion.
Over the past decade, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants has been plagued by debt and closures while expanding in the U.S. and Asia. In 2014, Ramsay even proposed selling half of his shares of the company—an estimated £80 million pounds ($127,851,200 USD), according to Eater—to keep the company afloat while retaining the ability to expand. By 2017 Ramsay was slightly back on track and announced plans to begin expanding again in the U.S.
Currently Ramsay’s empire in the U.S. includes eight restaurants opened in partnership with Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Baltimore. In the new deal with Lion, Ramsay plans on expanding three concepts—Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips—reported Forbes.