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Prezzo snaps up three former Paramount sites

By Luke Nicholls , 19-Dec-2011
Last updated on 19-Dec-2011 at 12:30 GMT

Italian restaurant chain Prezzo has bought three former Paramount Restaurants sites out of administration for £1.125m in cash.

The Group, led by Jonathan Kaye, has acquired three leasehold Café Uno properties under the Brasserie Gerard brand, following Paramount’s fall into administration last month .

The new sites are in Cobham, Surrey; Marlborough, Wiltshire; and Sevenoaks, Kent. The deal brings the total to 18 sites acquired by Prezzo from Café Uno over the past 18 months.

The restaurants will be closed, refurbished and opened over the course of 2012 and will fall under one of Prezzo’s existing trade formats – Prezzo, Chimichanga, Caffe Uno and Ultimate Burger.

Prezzo estate growth

“In addition to the c.10-11 sites the company is expected to have opened in December alone, estate growth in 2011E should now exceed our expectations by c.5-7 sites,” said a spokesperson for financial advisory group Colins Stewart, which advises on Prezzo’s finances.

“On trading, the Coffer Peach report has announced Prezzo’s like-for-like sales growth of 2.1 per cent for November. While below the headline rate of inflation, the figures demonstrate the underlying resilience of the eating out market.”

Caffe Uno Brasseries is one of six companies, which are made up of 32 restaurants employing 713 staff, in the Chez Gerard group which have gone into administration.

The remaining five companies are Chez Gerard Restaurants, Craftbutton, Paramount, Paramount Restaurants and Groupe Chez Gerard Restaurants.

Further small acquisitions

Colins Stewart added: “We are not surprised by today’s announcement and suspect that further small bolt-on acquisitions are likely to be made over the next few months.

“The positive elements of the Group’s business most notably its strong balance sheet, and the

growth opportunities offered by the long-term maturing of a brand are, in our

view, not reflected by the market.”

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