Cote Restaurants acquired by CBPE

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cote, Pret a manger, Restaurant, Private equity

Cote has rapidly expanded to 45 UK sites since its launch in 2007
Cote has rapidly expanded to 45 UK sites since its launch in 2007
Cote Restaurants, the 45-strong French bistro chain founded by Andy Bassadone and Chris Benians, has been acquired by private equity firm CBPE Capital in a deal reportedly worth £100m. 

Restaurant entrepreneur Richard Caring is believed to have sold his 51 per cent stake in the business while the others will retain some of their holdings. CBPE, which was once part of the Close Brothers investment bank, is now backed by a management team led by Harald Samuelsson and chef Alex Scrimgeour.

“We are really proud of what we have achieved at Cote since opening the first restaurant in 2007,” said Cordon Bleu-trained Scrimgeour. “I believe that in CBPE we have found the right partner to help us grow the business further.

“Cote has been successful because we offer a great eating-out experience; we source quality products and we are always striving to get dishes just right, while keeping prices reasonable for our customers.

“CBPE understand this commitment and we look forward to working with them as Cote continues to expand and evolve.”

Growth plans

As reported by our sister title M&C Report,​the 45-strong chain was placed on the market late last year through Hawkpoint, with an initial price tag of around £120m put on the business. Bridgepoint, the backer of Pret A Manger, had been leading the field for Cote over the summer, with Karen Jones in the running to become its chairman before joining Hawksmoor as its non-exec chair.

Ian Moore, a partner at CBPE, added: “We have known the Côte team for a number of years and we are delighted to be making this investment. Harald, Alex and the rest of the management team have an uncompromising dedication to quality and a proven track record of growing successful restaurant businesses.

“We are looking forward to working with them to facilitate Cote’s measured growth plans over the coming years.”

Cote’s 45 sites are predominantly based in the south, with the chain having recently acquired its 24th site in London.

Caring, owner of Caprice Holdings which is home to The Ivy and Scott’s, is now a financial backer of the all-day counter service concept Grillshack, which opened last week.

Related topics: Restaurants, Venues, Business

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