M Restaurants founder hints at possible CAU bid

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

M Restaurants founder hints at possible CAU bid
M Restaurants founder Martin Williams has indicated he could make another bid to buy Gaucho’s troubled CAU restaurant brand.

It was reported last week​ that Gaucho has appointed KPMG to consider its options for the 22-strong steak and burger group following two years of declining sales.

A Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), which could see CAU sites close or converted to the Gaucho brand, is one of several options being considered.

Williams, who was managing director of Gaucho for nine years until 2014, says he will take a “fresh look” at the brands in the coming weeks after making an offer for the group last year.

The restaurateur approached Gaucho and CAU’s owner Equistone Partners in late 2017 with a proposal that would bring the brands “under the wing and leadership team of M”.

He says he is also looking for further “expansion opportunities” for M off the back of rising sales.

“The challenge across the industry at the moment is to keep evolving your brand and engaging with your guests with an exciting quality offering; therefore our proposal included a rebrand of both Gaucho and CAU and introduction of the award-winning M brands into a new group portfolio,” says Williams.

“With the terribly sad news that many of the talented team at both Gaucho and CAU now face job insecurity; my first priority is to open the doors at M to many of the great team that I nurtured during my tenure as MD at Gaucho.”

The 16 Gaucho-branded restaurants are understood to be trading well.

Earlier this year Williams also expressed interest in buying Jamie Oliver’s​ beleaguered Barbecoa group, but no deal was secured.

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