Martin Williams to return to Gaucho under new ownership

By Stefan Chomka contact

- Last updated on GMT

Martin Williams to return to Gaucho under new ownership

Related tags: Casual dining, Food, Fine dining, Steak

Martin Williams is making a dramatic return to Gaucho four and a half years after leaving the steakhouse group.

His appointment comes as Gaucho CEO Oliver Meakin, who joined the company at the start of the year, steps down.

Williams was previously managing director at Gaucho, having joined the company in 2005. He “will be working with the key stakeholders to drive the next stage of Gaucho’s development,” according to administrator Deloitte.  

The move comes along with the announcement that Lomo Bidco, a new vehicle created and owned by Gaucho’s lenders, Investec Bank and SC Lowy, will become the new owner of the steakhouse group, which was put into administration earlier this year​. The deal is conditional on the successful implementation of a CVA.

Lomo Bidco will acquire all of Gaucho’s 16 UK restaurants, securing the future of its 750 employees, says Deloitte.

“Gaucho is a profitable and successful business and with the support of its new owners can now focus on its future growth plans,” says Matt Smith, partner at Deloitte LLP.

Last month, Meakin said it was “business as usual” at Gaucho​ following the closure of all 22 sites of its sister concept CAU. “Gaucho makes good money. It’s got great heritage and longevity (it turns 25 next year) and has some fantastic and iconic sites around London and the UK,” he told BigHospitality.

A spokesman for Investec says: “We have supported Gaucho since 2016 and continued to provide support to the business through the difficult conditions experienced in 2018.”

“We know the Gaucho team well and have significant confidence they can reinvigorate and grow the Gaucho brand.”

Williams is currently the CEO and founder of meat-focused group M Restaurants, which he launched in 2014 soon after leaving Gaucho. The company operates two M Restaurants in the capital, in the City and in Victoria, as well as an M Bar & Grill in Twickenham and announced last month that it will open a fourth restaurant​ in Canary Wharf’s Newfoundland development at the end of 2020.

The sale is expected to complete in mid-October following approval of the CVA.

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