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Three Hills Capital Partners announces its first North American investment in leading Italian fine-dining restaurant Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group

25 September 2020 Investment Activity

Three Hills Capital Partners (“THCP”), an innovative investment house providing flexible capital solutions to mid-market companies, is pleased to have made its first North American investment from its third fund, Three Hills Capital Solutions III (“THCS III”). THCS III has invested $35 million through a mix of preferred capital and equity instruments to support Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group (“SAHG” or the “Group”), the high-end US premium restaurant group operating across three brands: Sant Ambroeus, Casa Lever and Felice. 

Founded in 2003 by Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli, SAHG has grown to become a market leader in New York’s fine-dining sector, with a particularly strong brand affiliation and loyal customer following. Through careful site selection and clear operational focus, SAHG has successfully grown to 16 operational sites on the East Coast – New York City, Southampton (New York) and Palm Beach (Florida). The Group also has various coffee and pasta bars across New York.

Each of the brands, Sant Ambroeus, Casa Lever and Felice are distinct, operating at different price points with their own unique product offering and customer experience, however all retain the original Italian heritage and ethos throughout. SAHG has developed an extensive and loyal customer base, with the restaurants recognized for providing patrons with authentic, Italian regional cuisine across a number of different site locations and formats. 

THCP is working closely with the Group’s founders and senior management team to support the business, and now looks forward to assisting the business with it domestic and international expansion. As part of this long-term growth plan, the Group will utilise the THCP capital to reinforce its established footprint of restaurants on the East Coast and review new opportunities, with new sites across North America and identifying flagship locations in Europe. Through this partnership SAHG benefits from THCP’s extensive experience in the consumer and restaurant sector, as well as its ‘hands on’ approach to portfolio management; working with businesses across different sectors to help the founders and management teams achieve their ambitions. 

Gherardo Guarducci, Founder of SA Hospitality Group, commented:

Our commitment to the mission of operating the best in class Italian hospitality group in the US is made stronger by the partnership with THCP, Mauro’s understanding of the science and his great passion for the art of hospitality and culinary excellence is and will be a source of great support

Gherardo Guarducci, Founder of SA Hospitality Group

Mauro Moretti, THCP Founder and Chairman of the Investment Committee, commented: 

We have been loyal customers and lover of the brands developed by SAHG for many years in NY; when we had the chance to discuss an investment in the group, it was pretty simple for us to share with Gherardo and his team our deep understanding of what makes unique their proposition and how we could support them in the next chapter of their fantastic journey. We are thrilled about the forthcoming years together with the goal of creating the reference point in Italian hospitality worldwide. This investment also represents another key milestone for THCP being our first North American deal after having reviewed several opportunities in this market.

Mauro Moretti, THCP Founder and Chairman of the Investment Committee

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