Tapas chain prepares pounds 54m float plan

LA TASCA, the chain of Spanish tapas bars, has announced plans to float on AIM. The 45-strong chain has raised pounds 19m from institutional investors and will be valued at pounds 54m when it lists.

Its management team, headed by James Horler, formerly of the Frankie & Benny's chain, will make about pounds 3m from selling shares but will keep a 6.3 per cent stake.

La Tasca's venture capital backer, Penta Capital, will make about pounds 14.5m. It funded a management buy-in in 2001 and will retain a 23 per cent stake. Mr Horler plans to open 10 outlets a year and to own 150 restaurants.