Burrito Loco gets a strategic investor

The owner of Leo Express is putting money into the fast food chain

An investment firm run by Leo Express owner Leoš Novotný is getting a stake in the Burrito Loco chain of Mexican fast-food shops.

With the new investment, the chain should be expanding in the Czech Republic and possibly abroad. At the same time, Novotný plans to provide new technology for the network, such as smartphone ordering, which is becoming commonplace in the fast food sector.

Novotný bought a minority stake in the chain, but he has not excluded increasing it in the near future. Novotný's financial group Aakon Capital paid tens of millions of crowns for the stake, according to daily Hospodářské noviny. The exact figure was not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to have acquired Aakon Capital as an investor in further growth. Their new ideas, energy and financial know-how are just as important to us as the capital that will allow us to expand faster and more efficiently,” Burrito Loco founder Glenn Spicker said, according to HN. American businessman Spicker has been operating in the Czech Republic (and previously Czechoslovakia) since the early 1990s and, for example, runs the bar and music club U Malého Glena.

Burrito Loco was founded by Spicker in 2012 in Prague and has nine branches, with eight in Prague with one in Plzeň, West Bohemia. Like other fast food enterprises it works on a franchise principle.

The chain serves tacos, burritos, quesidillas and burgers, and now had vegan options.

Novotný said the chain was the fastest growing network his company has seen on the market, and he liked its dynamic growth. He had considered other options in fast food. “We were discussing six companies,” he said, but cooperating with Burrito Loco was the most advantageous option.

Aakon Capital is dedicated to investing in medium-sized companies, real estate and asset management. Aakon Capital's strategy is to give money to promising companies it wants to develop strategically, according to the investment statement. “We invest in small and medium-sized businesses in all stages of development. Regionally, we focus on businesses in the Czech Republic or neighboring countries, including DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and CEE. Our transaction range is EUR 1 million to EUR 10 million per deal. As we are privately funded, we do not necessarily seek an exit on our investments,” the Aakon Capital website states.

Its investments include Šlechta, Hamé and ArtBanana, as well as Leo Express.

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