Tuesday 12 December 2017

Danu eyes sale of stake in Smith & Wollensky steakhouse chain to drive growth upwards

Michael O'Rourke, one of the founders of Danu Partners Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Michael O'Rourke, one of the founders of Danu Partners Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Irish investor Danu Partners is considering the sale of a stake in its recently acquired Smith & Wollensky (S&W) steakhouse chain, the Sunday Independent understands.

Danu hopes a fresh investment would help drive growth in the business.

The Dublin-based investor was founded by Michael O'Rourke, Leonard Ryan and Mark O'Meara. O'Rourke and Ryan founded Setanta Sports in the early 1990s, while O'Meara joined that business in 2000.

Danu announced in March that it had bought seven of the eight S&W restaurants in the United States, as well as the brand, with the New York outlet remaining under the control of its original founder. It said it "planned" to invest heavily in the continued expansion of the high-end S&W business, through new openings both in the US and internationally, as well as further investment in several of its existing locations."

Danu was already operating a Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in London, the only restaurant outside the United States.

Danu Partners could not be reached via telephone and did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

It has also made a substantial investment in the Mercantile Group, which operates a number of high-profile bars in Dublin. Other companies in its portfolio include wearable sports technology company Playertek, outsourced services company Servecalls and rainwater harvesting and purification equipment company RainSafe, according to Danu's website.

Irish telecoms company Eir recently agreed a deal to purchase Setanta Sports Ireland for an undisclosed sum.

Eir chief executive Richard Moat said it was "an extremely exciting and very important first step for us in television content ownership. We will now offer our customers the widest range and highest calibre of sports content in Ireland. Buying Setanta Sports Ireland is a game changer for Eir."

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