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.