Casual Dining Group in talks with creditors about restructuring

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Casual Dining Group in talks with creditors about radical restructuring Coronavirus crisis

Related tags: Casual dining group, Restaurant, Administration, Coronavirus

Casual Dining Group (CDG) is reportedly preparing to place one of its three core restaurant brands into administration as part of a radical financial restructuring of the business.

According to Sky News​, the Café Rouge and Bella Italia owner is in talks with creditors about a strategy that will involve an injection of substantial new funds by its shareholders.

Plans for a series of insolvency arrangements aimed at putting the business on a sustainable long-term footing are expected to be made this week. 

Under those plans, CDG is expected to launch company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) for two of its three brands - Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas - with the other being placed into administration.

The group, which is controlled by the private equity giant KKR, is understood to have appointed the advisory firm AlixPartners to work on the restructuring.

A number of CDG's c.250 restaurants are believed to have been earmarked for closure, with many of the remaining sites likely to be the subject of negotiations about rent reductions.

Preliminary talks are understood to have got under way with landlords late last week.

In a statement, a spokesperson for CDG told BigHospitality ​that all options are currently on the table, and at this point they couldn’t say with any certainty what the outcome would be. 

They said: “As is widely acknowledged, this is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisors as we consider our next steps.”

Earlier this month it was also reported that two other major players of the UK’s casual dining sector, The Azzurri Group and Prezzo, had individually drafted in consultants to help negotiate the fallout from the ongoing Coronavirus shutdown​.

Meanwhile, the owner of restaurant chain Byron has begun to sound out potential bidders for the burger chain​, having hired advisors to assess funding options for the business back in March.

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