Gaucho restaurant group to hold talks over possible sale

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Gaucho restaurant group to hold talks over possible sale
The Gaucho restaurant group is considering a sale of its entire company following the underperformance of its CAU casual steakhouse brand.

BigHospitality​ understands the group's management team is starting talks with potential buyers this week to secure a “viable long-term structure for the business”.

It comes after Gaucho's management appointed advisers KPMG​ to assess its options for the 22-strong CAU chain earlier this month following two years of double-digit declines in like-for-like sales.

CAU opened its first site in Guildford in 2011 and expanded rapidly in 2015-16, opening six sites in both years.

Sky News​ reports that one option under consideration was a company voluntary agreement (CVA), which could see CAU sites closed or converted to the Gaucho brand.

Gaucho's owner Equistone, acquired a majority stake in the chain for £100m in 2016.

Gaucho group's directors are now exploring a potential sale of the entire company, including its 16 Gaucho-branded sites – which are understood to be performing in line with the market.

A Gaucho spokesperson 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.”

Last week Martin Williams, founder of M Restaurants and a former managing director at Gaucho, indicated he could make another bid to buy the brands​ after making an offer for the group last year.

A new management team was recently appointed to CAU after the company’s founder, Zeev Godik, stepped down last year. He was replaced by Oliver Meakin​, former boss of Maplin Electronics, which itself fell in to administration in February.

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