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Meet The BTC Team

Personnel

Our Team Members

team of experts

  • Get To Know Us

  • Looking Toward The Future

  • A Wealth Of Knowledge

Business Trading Company UK (BTC UK) is a holding and investment company. Established in 2015, the core team has nurtured a growing reputation as a source of growth capital for UK brands.

BTC UK Managing Director

Mehdi joined BTC in 2014, masterminding its launch in the UK market. Having overseen the initial acquisition of SOHO Coffee Co, he developed it into a holding company. This facilitated the acquisitions of Euphorium Bakery and Apostrophe Restaurants; high quality hospitality brands that fit perfectly within the BTC Hospitality portfolio. Since then, Mehdi has launched BTC UK’s real estate investment platform, announced to the market with the acquisition of the iconic Bow Street Magistrates Court in the heart of London. Looking ahead, Mehdi will continue to oversee operations in the UK, guiding the group’s deployment of capital to quality, promising brands, together with unique real estate opportunities to deliver world-class hotels to the UK. As BTC UK develops, Mehdi will manage the process of strengthening both strands of the business, creating a trusted source of growth capital for exciting brands and hotels.

Mehdi Ghalaie

BTC UK Managing Director

BTC Hospitality Investments Chief Executive Officer

Chris’s career in hospitality started back in 1980 when he joined Sutcliffe Catering rising through the ranks to Group Finance Director. On its sale to Granada in 1993 he was appointed Finance Director of Granada Food Services before taking over as Managing Director of Little Chef & Travelodge after the acquisition of Forte in 1997. Upon the subsequent merger with Compass he became Managing Director Compass Roadside Division which also included Moto Services and Harry Ramsden’s. He subsequently became Managing Director of SSP UK & International Development before transferring to head up the Compass UK & Ireland Business & Industry Division. In 2006 Chris decided to take up the challenge alongside Penny Manuel of acquiring and developing Soho Coffee Co. from a small Cheltenham business into the international organisation it has become today. BTC’s acquisition of SOHO in 2015 was the springboard to accelerate business growth particularly in London and from this base build a new group of high quality, artisan, challenger brands in our chosen retail hospitality markets.

Chris Copner

BTC Hospitality Investments Chief Executive Officer

BTC UK Finance & Investment Director

Andrew is a chartered accountant with approaching 15 years professional services and capital markets experience. He joined BTC Hospitality as Finance Director in September 2016, with overall responsibility for building and strengthening the group’s finance function – people, systems, processes and reporting – to support and control the rapidly growing UK F&B operation. In addition to F&B, Andrew has wider financial and strategic oversight responsibilities at the BTC UK holding company level, and is working with the group’s Qatari shareholder to establish its corporate office in the UK. Prior to joining BTC Hospitality, Andrew was a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young in London, where he worked in the financial due diligence team for 5½ years across a number of sectors including F&B. He originally trained and qualified at PwC in 2010. Earlier in his career, as a graduate, Andrew worked as a corporate finance analyst at New Boathouse Capital. Andrew graduated from Bath University in 2004 with a degree in Economics & Politics.

Andrew Woodruff

BTC UK Finance & Investment Director

Managing Director of SOHO

Penny is part of the original entrepreneurial partnership who acquired SOHO Coffee Co. in August 2006. SOHO courses through Penny’s veins and she has been the very proud parent of the business, being instrumental in its development over the last 10 years to the brand it is today. Graduating with Honours in Hospitality, Penny has worked for blue chip companies including Sainsburys, Compass Group and SSP UK. Starting in Operations, Penny diversified into Marketing and prior to acquiring SOHO was Brand Director for SSP UK. Opting to test whether she could be successful under her own steam, Penny accepted the challenge from Chris Copner to go into partnership and together they have grown the business from the 4 stores in the south-west it comprised in 2006 to a global business of 40 stores in 2017.

Penny Manuel

Managing Director of SOHO

BTC Hospitality Investments Property & Acquisitions Manager

Guy graduated from Exeter University with a BA Business Management Degree before joining SOHO Coffee Co. in 2009 and becoming Manager of the original Cambray Place Store in Cheltenham. In 2012 Guy progressed to manage the flagship SOHO in Cabot Circus and in 2015 led the ‘Soho to Go’ initiative. Although still an operator at heart, Guy is now focused on the acquisition of new sites for SOHO, Apostrophe and Euphorium. This involves all aspects of pipeline development, due diligence, financial appraisal and overseeing the legal processes. Guy is also responsible for managing the rapidly expanding property portfolio across the BTC Hospitality Group and is studying part time at Reading University for an MSC in Real Estate to enhance his professional development. Outside work Guy is an experienced triathlete and is training for his first full distance Ironman event this summer and is getting married to Karina in October.

Guy Copner

BTC Hospitality Investments Property & Acquisitions Manager

BTC Hospitality Investments Finance Director

Ijaz joined the business in February 2017. He has 20 years of experience working in food manufacturing and F&B hospitality industries. Ijaz is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He has responsibility and oversight of all core business accounting and finance for Soho, Apostrophe, Euphorium and BTCH Investments. This includes implementing and developing new systems, producing financial statements, developing the finance teams and supporting operations in EBITDA generation. Prior to joining BTCH Group, Ijaz worked for Associated British Foods plc, Fletchers Bakeries, Kout Food Group and Greencore plc in variety of senior reporting, business partnering and commercial finance roles. Ijaz lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young children. He is a lifelong Manchester United supporter.

Ijaz Malik

BTC Hospitality Investments Finance Director

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