Wanting to recreate an authentic Italian coffee bar experience, Gerry Ford, 55, founded Caffè Nero in 1997. The business now operates more than 600 outlets in Britain, Turkey, the Middle East, Poland and Cyprus. Paladin Capital, itself co-founded by Ford, provided £2m of start-up funding, and in 2007 re-invested via a £230m public-to-private buyout.
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