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13 May 2014

Speechly Bircham advises shareholders on the sale of Gourmet Society and The Restaurant Choice to Didix BV

This article was written prior to the formation of Charles Russell Speechlys, through the merger between Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham.

Gourmet Society was founded in Nottingham in 2003 by Simon Leonard, originally as a part time business selling memberships door-to-door for 18 restaurants. It was later incorporated as Simard Limited in 2008 when it had grown to 500 restaurants across the Midlands and North England.

Since 2008 the business has grown exponentially with over 6,700 restaurant partners and 39 employees. Members of the Gourmet Society benefit from either 50% off food, two-for-one meals or 25% off the total bill at partner restaurants.

The deal also includes The Restaurant Choice Limited run by Simon with business partners Jenny Goddard and Ged Cuthbert which sell restaurant vouchers which can be redeemed in chains such as Pizza Express and Nandos.

Speechly Bircham were appointed by the shareholders of both companies to advise them on the sale to Dutch company Didix BV which is backed by Waterland Private Equity.

As a part of the overall deal Simon Leonard will become both a shareholder and a director of DIDIX BV. Jenny and Ged will remain with The Restaurant Choice to continue growing the business and the 40 staff of the Gourmet Society will stay on in the combined group with a clear strategic focus to drive European growth.

Simon Leonard commented, "Tim and the team at Speechlys provided an amazing service. Nothing was too much and they literally worked around the clock to help push the deal through. I'd highly recommend them."