LONDON Rapper Jay-Z plans to bring his 40/40 restaurant and bar franchise to London next year in a deal which will team him up with England and Chelsea soccer player Ashley Cole.
The NVA Entertainment Group (NVA), which brokered the multi-million pound (dollar) deal, said that The 40/40 London will be the first project of a partnership between Jay-Z and Cole that will include a number of new ventures.
"London is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world and the perfect location for our new venue," Jay-Z said in an NVA statement emailed to Reuters.
"I'm excited about working with Ashley and NVA Entertainment Group on a range of new projects and The 40/40 London is going to be the hottest place in town."
The management team will be appointing a top chef to deliver a modern American-themed menu for the restaurant/bar that will feature top DJ's and A-list artists. A shortlist of three potential sites is now under consideration with a final decision on location expected in August, NVA said.
The 40/40 London will give first option on jobs to talented, long-term unemployed young people. Each month a percentage of profits from the project will go to local youth charities for music and sport projects in deprived communities.
"I am delighted to be working with Jay Z I have grown up listening to his music and now to be doing business with him is amazing and the projects we do will be delivering much needed funds back into sport and music on a local community level as well as helping talented young people get back to work," Cole said in the statement.
The grand opening party to be held next year will be similar to the 40/40 openings thrown by Jay-Z in New York, Las Vegas and Atlantic City and will be attended by a host of stars from music, sport and entertainment.
NVA are in talks with UK broadcasters over exclusive TV opportunities.
Alongside his music business Roc Nation and Rocawear clothing range Jay-Z is a sports fan - he attended Wimbledon last week and co-owns NBA basketball team New Jersey Nets. He runs a chain of 40/40 clubs in five U.S. cities.
(Reporting by Paul Casciato)