The Sunday Times reports advisers at accountancy firm BDO are seeking a new investor for the group, which has been run by former Le Pain Quotidien managing director Philippe Le Roux since 2011.
According to Villandry’s most recent accounts, the chain saw the rent on its flagship site on London’s Great Portland Street double in 2016, while rental costs at its St James’ café have risen 16%.
Villandry has also been hit by the 2017 closure of its site at Bicester Village, the designer outlet mall, which accounted for 47% of its turnover.
The Bicester landlord bought back the lease, and the site has since been replaced by Corbin & King’s Café Wolseley spin-off.
In the year to 31 March 2017 Villandry's pre-tax losses rose from £847,537 to £1.6m, while sales were flat at £10.3m.
Le Roux writes in the accounts that the company plans to “simplify and standardise” the offer in its two remaining restaurants and has “substantially” reduced its head office and restaurant operating costs to manage losses.