Jamie to do a “pukka” “Italian job”?

The weekend has seen further stories circulating that UK celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, is now formally starting the process of raising funds via external investors for his chain of “Jamie’s Italian” restaurants.

This plan was originally mooted in December 2014, at the same time as a possible sale of his media business. Whilst the sale of Jamie Oliver Holding’s media business appears to have gone no further publicly, newspapers are reporting that advisors have been appointed to advance the process in relation to “Jamie’s Italian”. The Naked Chef launched his Italian-themed restaurant chain with an inaugural branch opening in Oxford, and it has since grown to over 30 locations in the UK and 14 other countries. Oliver’s inspiration for this part of his business empire he cites back to his mentor, Gennaro Contaldo, whom he met during his first days as a pastry chef at the Neal’s Yard restaurant.

Jamie’s Italian has a presence in 14 countries, with the closest outside of the UK being in Dublin and the furthest away being in Wellington, New Zealand. If the unnamed source is correct about potential outside investors being sought then one would have to draw the conclusion that even bigger expansion plans are in the offing for this part of the Jamie Oliver empire.