Financial market

Former Amrest CEO on million-dollar restaurant shopping spree

Amrest founder Henry McGovern is launching a new 500 million euro fund.
dean & david
Amrest founder Henry McGovern is launching a new 500 million euro fund.

One man, one word, many deeds: Former Amrest founder and CEO Henry McGovern has invested a lot of money in green concepts since leaving the Polish multibrand Amrest. His latest coup: acquiring half a billion euros to invest in sustainable foodtech options and brands.

Together with his partner at private investment firm "McWin," Steven Winegar, McGovern has already placed two funds in the market, the "McWin Food Ecosystem Fund" (300 million euros) and the "McWin Food Tech Fund" (250 million euros).

So far, these funds have been used to invest in Burger King Germany, Vapiano, the bakery chain Gail's in the UK and Dean & David. Smaller investments were made in Cook-Unity, Impossible Foods and various tech companies such as Menu, Footprint and Oishii.

New: McWin Restaurant Fund

McGovern and Winegar launched their new "McWin Restaurant Fund" with the support of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia). Behind this is the sovereign wealth fund of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi - the aim is to prepare the region for the post-fossil fuel era.

However, the two founders mainly go shopping in Europe. McWin has a lot of capital behind it - with the new, third fund of 500 million euros (512 million dollars), the total capital managed by "McWin" has increased to over 1 billion euros. This makes it the largest fund focused on fast food chains in Europe. The new fund will make equity investments of at least €100 million to help local restaurant brands become more digital and also expand abroad.

Sustainability in focus

McGovern and Steven Winegar have been active in the hospitality industry for many years, and they see further potential for optimization particularly in the digital equipment of restaurants and in innovative products such as plant-based meat substitutes.

"We are in what is certainly a very difficult time, but a very interesting time strategically, because you have to think about how to change your business model," McGovern said when asked. There are a whole range of opportunities to invest in successful brands now, he said. That's because the grocery industry is adapting to completely new trends, including the increasing use of delivery apps, he said.