KFC Franchisee Expands South-West Presence With HSBC Support

A leading KFC franchise business has significantly expanded its presence in the South West with the acquisition of three outlets and the opening of a new restaurant in the region. Amsric Holdings, which owns 24 KFC restaurants in total, has secured a seven-figure funding package from HSBC Commercial Bank to support the expansion.

The company has acquired KFC restaurants in Exeter, Torquay and Plymouth and has also opened a new 100-seat restaurant in St Austell, creating 60 new jobs, by converting an existing Pizza Hut. The expansion brings Amsric Holdings presence in Devon and Cornwall to seven, with outlets already operated by the company in Newquay, Falmouth and Penzance.

Amsric Holdings was started by husband and wife team Ragin and Dina Patel with their first KFC restaurant in Woking 20 years ago. The couple had moved to the UK from Kenya in 1993, where Ragin had worked in the family business. They have steadily built up the business and now have KFC restaurants in Winchester, Southampton, Portsmouth and London.

KFC places a big importance on developing people, and became the first restaurant company in the UK to launch an honours degree. The company has been voted Britain's Top Employer for two years in a row and named as a Great Place to Work for the last four years. KFC also works with City & Guilds to provide Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeships to team members and team leaders, so every new restaurant creates not just jobs, but genuine career opportunities for local residents.

Amsric will be adding to its portfolio further, having recently opened a new KFC restaurant in Fleet that created 50 new roles, it is also looking for an additional site in Woking. In addition, Amsric has also been approved as a Starbucks franchisee and will be opening its first 100-seater Starbucks outlet at Fraddon Services in July.

The company, which employs over 550 people and is headquartered in Woking, has been an HSBC customer since November 2012, with the relationship led by Senior Commercial Manager Chris Barton, based in HSBC's Oxford Circus Commercial Team. Barton worked closely with colleagues in HSBC's specialist Birmingham-based Franchise Unit, to provide a comprehensive finance package to support Amsric's current and future business requirements. This included funding to support the acquisition of the new outlets, a standby finance facility to fund future openings and the refinancing of existing debt.

Ragin Patel said: "This latest acquisition significantly expands our presence in the South West, which we see as a strong and growing part of our overall portfolio. Devon and Cornwall benefit from both local and tourist demand and our outlets are all conveniently located to appeal to these markets. We will continue to monitor opportunities in the South West and will also look to develop our Starbucks franchise business in the region.

"We have been very pleased with the support offered by the HSBC team and its specialist Franchise Unit. It is clear that they understand franchising and are keen to support growth businesses in this area."

Barton said: "Ragin, Dina and their son Ricky have developed this business gradually over the past 20 years and know how to operate a successful food and drink franchise. Working with regional colleagues, as well as the Franchise Unit, we were able to structure a deal that took over the existing debt, while also providing agreement in principle for additional funding to help with the acquisition of additional stores from the franchisor. This gives Amsric scope for further expansion in the future.