News that Real Greek owner Fulham Shore (FUL:AIM) is to acquire the Franco Manca pizzeria chain is giving investors more confidence in the future of the £46.6 million cap.

The shares soared by 217% to 19p in the weeks after Fulham Shore moved from ISDX to AIM on 20 October 2014, but have recently languished at 13p after acquisition and expansion chat failed to come to fruition.

David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, believes the group can expand the current Franco Manca estate of 10 restaurants to at least 40 over the next five years. This has boosted the share price by 1.9% to 13.5p this morning.

FUL - Comparison Line Chart (Rebased to first)

The group is paying £27.5 million for Franco Manca owner Rocca, funding the deal through the issue of £21.3 million worth of new shares and the remainder satisfied in cash. It has also raised £4.75 million from existing shareholders and new institutions.

Whether Fulham Shore can realise its ambitions for Franco Manca remains to be seen. Page has previously said the Real Greek chain could grow to 40 branches in the UK but he is currently targeting just two openings a year and is focusing on the London market, which he has admitted is expensive.

Issue Date: 30 Mar 2015