Luxury steak restaurant chain seeks buyers

Thu, 24 May 2018 | BUSINESS SALE

The owner of the Gaucho chain of steak restaurants is hoping to sell up as part of a restructuring plan to save the wider business amid torrid trading conditions in the casual dining sector.

According to Sky News, Gaucho’s board is looking for potential buyers that will be able to put the firm on “sustainable financial footing” as one of many options going forward.

The firm's board drafted in advisors at KPMG earlier this year to look at the possibility of closing or selling 22 of the firm’s Cau restaurants, but has expanded the accountancy’s remit to look at proposals from potential buyers.

Reports also state that the firm may also resort to a company voluntary arrangement in order to exit the Cau estate.

In a statement, a Gaucho spokesman said: "Having completed a strategic review and engaged with key stakeholders, the directors have instructed advisers to commence an options process.

"The process aims to secure a viable long-term structure for the business. This may or may not lead to a sale."

With 16 restaurants around the UK, Gaucho is Britain’s biggest premium steak chain by number of outlets alone. All of these locations will continue to trade throughout the review process.

The company has been enjoying a decent performance in recent months, with management saying it has been performing “in line” with the restaurants sector and is as such is not under threat of closure.

Cau, a separate brand that eschews Gaucho’s Argentinian aesthetic, has seen a double-digit downturn in its most recently reported revenues, citing over-expansion, poor selection of new sites and expensive rent agreements as the chief factors leading to financial difficulties.

Gaucho recently appointed a new management team including Oliver Meakin, formerly of Maplin, in order to arrest the slump, after company founder Zeev Godik stepped down.

The firm is owned in large part by Equistone, a private equity company.


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