Restaurant group Gaucho on the verge of administration

Wed, 18 Jul 2018 | ADMINISTRATION

Gaucho restaurant group faces going into administration as it struggles to meet the obligations of a £1m tax bill. The chain is on the race to secure a rescue deal as its Cau restaurant in Bristol, a burger and steak franchise with an Argentinean theme, risks closure.

The restaurant group has been struggling for some months and is understood to be looking at three potential rescue deals to meet a deadline by HM Revenue & Customs.

The chain appointed KPMG in May to assess the potential options for its future and particularly the viability of Cau, which has 22 restaurants around the country and has experienced double digit declines in the last year.

Gauncho's advisers hope to secure a deal this week with proposals being filed last Friday by a number of investors including Gaucho's existing management team backed by equity firm Core Capital; Hugh Osmond, the former Pizza Express backer; as well as by Limerston Capital, an investor in companies including Spark Energy.

In a statement, a Gaucho spokesman said: "We have been managing our cash tightly as we near completion of the options process.

"We remain confident that the Gaucho business will emerge from this process on a more stable footing."

However, if a rescue deal is secured, sources say that only the brand's 16 Gaucho restaurants will be secured. Its Cau chain, including its Bristol restaurant will close.

Gaucho joins the number of casual dining groups having suffered to keep afloat in the UK market due to heavy competition, rising operating costs and a decline in consumer spending.

Other brands to have experienced branch closures in 2018 include Byron Burger, Prezzo and Jamie's Italian.

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